E3 to return in '09

SAs the E3 Media & Business Summit wound down last week, gamers and industry execs chirped up about the state of the show. Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle last week, Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc and Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello both panned this year's show. "I...

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SAs the E3 Media & Business Summit wound down last week, gamers and industry execs chirped up about the state of the show. Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle last week, Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc and Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello both panned this year's show.

"I hate E3 like this," Riccitiello told the paper. "Either we need to go back to the old E3 or we'll have to have our own private events."

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter was no more charitable, saying the spectacle of the event was dead and the show itself is "headed for extinction" unless the publishers and console makers realize people don't care about it in its current form.

Regardless, there are plans for at least one more E3. A representative with the event's organizers at the Entertainment Software Association affirmed that much for GameSpot today, but gave little indication as to how next year's show will differ.

"As we do every year, we're beginning the process of surveying exhibitors and attendees to determine potential changes to the summit," the representative said. "Once this is completed and shared with the ESA's Board of Directors, we will make an announcement about the specifics of the 2009 E3 Media & Business Summit, which will occur."

The ESA has been unafraid of changing plans for the show in recent years. After the 2006 show drew more than 60,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center (pictured above), the trade group announced plans to radically downsize the event to around 5,000 invite-only attendees and move to nearby Santa Monica for 2007.

That move cost the organization $5 million in event cancellation fees, as it had already booked the LACC for its 2007 show. Despite that expense, the ESA moved the show right back to the LACC for 2008 while keeping the attendance figures closer to the drastically reduced levels of the Santa Monica event.

Discussion

210 comments
Bioshockraptor
Bioshockraptor

I hope they keep having E3... I'd hate it to stop.

Amnesiac23
Amnesiac23 moderator

I hope things, to some extent, get back to the way they were in 2006. Although, if it isn't as pathetic as last year I'll be alright.

coolcats1
coolcats1

cant wait till the summer to watch it. oh yeah

The_Dude1212
The_Dude1212

I'd really like it to work, seeing as this is one of the few I know of that stream their events, so I can actually get it here in Canada! Jeebus...its like the 1st party company's up here in the True North are merely deserted outposts...seriously, look at the the Canadian Nintendo website, pathetic compared to the American one WHICH THEY ACTUALLY UPDATE!

Dadamac67
Dadamac67

This is the Big show that we have every year in the US for publishers, developers and the hardware guys to show off what they're working on and whats coming up....it'd be a real shame if it ends...they need to get rid of the morons on the board who are running it...booth babes?..the heck with them..I can look at bikini chicks all day on the internet..its the games that are important...they need to bring back what they did in the old days....make it accessible to the journalists AND THE PUBLIC!....run it like comicon.....or quakefest....bring back the fun...let the press and the public mingle.....maybe the first day its press only....then the last 2 the public can attend...sell tickets to limit the number of people in...make it a manageable number....keep the demo stations going 24 hours...so u can wander in at 3am and check things out when its a little less crowded.....get a lan party going too...have a stage with some bands.....limit the amount of space that each company gets to show off their stuff...so sony or nintendo or bungie or whomever doesnt take up an entire huge floor space..it'd be cheaper for them that way..less space..less cost.....they're all kinds of things they can do......its a shame that as big as gaming is..the 1 show we have to celebrate it is so badly run and pathetic...

joseph_mach
joseph_mach

Hehe... aye, I'm going to agree with many of you here. Bring back the booth babes, and stop with the "By Invites Only" crud. It doesn't have to be 100% old E3, but at least make it 75% of what it used to be.

-expletive-
-expletive-

let's cut to the chase: are they bringing back the booth babes or what?!?

scouserfuller9
scouserfuller9

As a Nintendo fan I only watch their conferences and found their 2007 one dissapointing with no new titles that we had not already seen on show for that year and only Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit as new titles. I was expecting this years to be a much better one with new titles for both casual and hardcore gamers as there were only two official titles we knew about before the show started but it was even worse with them showing just two with one not out until 2008! I'll be giving next years a chance but if it's no better I'll only be watching it in the future when they have new consoles on show for us.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

sometimes we hate this kind of e3 want to bring back the old one, so i hope everything is kinda cool before something chaotic happens.

geomyr
geomyr

i think E3 happens every year so what's new on E3 returning in 09 sad to say i never watched any of those events but i like them.

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

E3 isn't getting much attention anymore, it's only a matter of time before more and more publishers decide that it's not worth it... unless they do something.

teirdome
teirdome

Move to May. Open to public for the weekend. More focus on recruiting retailers to come to the show.

football_legend
football_legend

E3 is a joke, just look how Sony, Microsoft and EA are holding up their biggest announcements for Leipzig.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

E3 was originally put on to help developers, publishers and industry related people meet and great during a single large trade-show event. It later became a circus event where the corporations with the most money put on the largest spectacle for the benefit of the end user...who wasn't really supposed to be there in the first place. So many people complain about how companies like EA are slowly taking over everything...yet when it comes to E3 and shows like it they get upset when the focus is put back to the smaller guys.

jeremiah06
jeremiah06

@Yuck_Too: That's what E3 should be, a US version of TGS. Look at the success of TGS, there's nothing wrong with their format. E3 should be like the carnival, one huge 3 day even that occurs only once a year, that everyone can attend and enjoy themselves. Imagine playing the game demo's of your favorite developer's while buying food and misculanious merchandise. It could be the gamer version of a las vegas weekend, at about $50 a ticket first come first serve the first 100,000 people. Who wouldn't want to experience that. The first day can be the business summit part like with TGS and days 2 and 3 can be for the gamers.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

If all you want is flash and glam, booth babes and big budgets, then that is what the TGS is there for...

jeremiah06
jeremiah06

@ftjx: That would work on so many levels, it would be like the Superbowl, you'd have to go at least once.

Acurev
Acurev

I dont want to see E3 get shut down, however it needs to be drastically revamped...

diangelogrey
diangelogrey

Who cares as long as the game companies keep making games and we have lots of stuff to keep us interested.

DecadesOfGaming
DecadesOfGaming

Scrap the E3 annual event before it's completely ruined by incompetent 'Suit Wearing Muppets'.. And divide it into consistent monthly one day events FROM THE SAME LOCATION ! Obviously Microsoft Sony and Nintendo's annual press conference would be one of the highlights of the year, but let them take place at different times throughout the year. Game developers would still have the opportunity to show off their wonderfull creations. Gamespot could even have a permanent studio located at the show broadcasting 'Concise Organised Monthly Shows' to the gaming community instead of wondering "WHERE" "WHEN" and "IF" the show is actually going to manafest itself one year later !?

oscarfeng
oscarfeng

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

_Piranha_
_Piranha_

The Best of E3 Shows --> E3 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005... become bad E3 Shows E3 2006, 2007..

ftjx
ftjx

I dont get this! why not make this open to the public and charge a horrendous amount of money for each of the 100.000 tickets sold!?

LazyPenguin1989
LazyPenguin1989

Though I liked this E3 for the amount of games i want to purchase i cant say i don't miss the old E3 or I that would be a complete lie, i really wish they bring it back to the glory years and hopefully if that day comes they will open the doors to everyone and not just the invited, that would also be great.

Pete5506
Pete5506

This year was not the best year, but I still love E3

ShadowTheHHFan
ShadowTheHHFan

What they need to do is have every gaming company just dump a bunch of new games and info coming out. Keep alot of it a secret until E3, then just unload, With trailers, gameplay, and such.

MrsNintendo
MrsNintendo

Why do this? Return to the old ways! It would make my grandma happy. Don't be afraid, be my friend. You know you want to. o.~

PieCrusher
PieCrusher

I hope they figure out ways to improve E3. I greatly enjoy the new info. that we recieve from these new game announcements.

lostn
lostn

"I always just use it for my gamecube games. Maybe if they focused less on crappy motion sensing than on solid gameplay, Nintendo would have my undying respect again." Am I the only one who sees the irony here? Do you know what UNDYING means?

Disciple_Gamer
Disciple_Gamer

Here is the PROBLEM with this revamped E3. They turned E3 from a fun, hype, spectacle event into a board meeting. Granted it was never open to the public but who do you think get gamers in a frenzy and spread the news for cool upcoming games. It is the person that work at Best Buy and EB games. Journalist can only do so much to hype a game but the workers at game stores can get word out so much better and give there take on the event. I will be honest here a say that I almost forgot that E3 was last week. I watch G4 and they said that the shock and ahh was not high because a new hardware was not mention. That has NEVER been a problem in the past. E3 is all about new exciting games. These past 2 years were dull and that is fact. May was my anticipated month for news in the video game industry. Even if you could not go to E3 2006 and back you felt like you were there or wish you could sell an organ to get there. Now, you could not pay me to go. Like many have said in the past, E3 died after 2006.

eo12601
eo12601

I know this comment is redundant, but E3 these two past years has been absolutely horrible. I remember being so excited for it, but now it's just meh. No surprises. The only big announcement for me was FF XIII coming to the 360. Honestly, in it's current form, I'd rather not have E3 at all. All it did was get me excited only to be massively disappointed. And all three consoles had really week press conferences. The PS3 one was extremely long and boring, and the only surprise was one that everyone expected. (GOW 3). Nintendo, on the other hand, gave us pretty much nothing. And Microsoft's only surprise was the aforementioned FF XIII. Where's the fun? The excitement? The unpredictability?

IPHANTOMI23
IPHANTOMI23

I commented on this earlier and saw this coming. It makes no sense to down size the biggest convention. I am sure it beats the porn convention by far. Now, I think what should happen is to make the first day open only to business executives involved in the industry. Thereafter, it should be open to the general public for the following two days. Hence, it satisfies both parties; investors and gamers. To maintain cost down, charge at the door. Expect to have around 60,000 people in attendance. If you want to lower the amount of people attending then raise the price of the entrance. Simple economics!!! It seems the people running the show cannot seem to understand that concept. -The Economist

doomsoth
doomsoth

Jezz...they couldn't see this coming a mile away? lol

lctpp2
lctpp2

Hopefully, the ESA would be able to find a compromise since even Riccatello himself doesn't understand the concept of it being a business summit.

lctpp2
lctpp2

Well, yeah I understand that but still people still had ways of getting in the convention in the past,right? Working in shops like EB or Gamestop technically would mean that you were part of the industry. I would refer to those people as being part of the public.

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

The only problem with the old E3 format is that some of the larger exhibitors got cheap and didn't want to spend so much time and money anymore. All they have to do is start charging for attendance to cover the costs. Then we can have the media and some regular fans show up. The fans are what drives the industry and we need them to be a part of the biggest show for gaming....E3. The current form just isn't the same.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

E3, as has been said so many times, is, and was, never open to the public. I'm not saying you could not finagle yourself a ticket but you simply could not walk up to the gate and buy one. I remember the first time some clown tried to grab and run out with a plasma display and it was at that exact moment I realized the "new" E3 was seriously out of whack with what we where there for.

lctpp2
lctpp2

Well, don't quote me on this but I got this from a certain podcast which may be familiar to some of you here. It was mentioned that most of the people who work closely with the games (like PR's and such) that miss the old E3 actually miss the massive attention that they get from those people in attendance who aren't actually with the media. The long lines, the spectavle, the fanfare, etc. There really is a rift, a conflict of interest when it comes to this topic. There are those who miss (or don't miss) the whole wild circus atmosphere but would rather prefer the current format. These people are mostly from the media. The format this year helped most of the media be able to get hands-on time, have interviews, be able to participate in closed door presentations, and bring more content. Overall, it helps them do their job better and nothing is sacrificed. No waiting in long lines in order to have hands-on time on demos, no human barricades to block their path to their interviews. In the end, everyone in the public would still get the content that they want on their respective PC's. It's still a win-win situation. Sure we might not be able to try out games since we can't go to E3 but there are still other events like PAX for example that would allow us to do just that. Now back to why guys such as Riccatello are expressing their disappointment with this year's E3. Letting the public in E3 is a way of getting the demographic hyped about their products. Thus, they have a better chance of getting pre-orders and such by letting the public, the demographic, see their products in person. They don't necessarily need to have playable demos but they could always have presentations. Not letting in the public lessens their opportunity of their GAME/s becoming certified GOLD before it comes out or even a crappy game still getting solid sales numbers. In the end, it's all about the money.

EcoJak
EcoJak

I liked the old E3 as well, but I don't think that this one is as bad as people say.

tophat666
tophat666

"Did you guys see the Penny Arcade about E3? It pretty much sums it right up." Yes, funny as hell. PAX is going to be awesome.

BLKCrystilMage
BLKCrystilMage

I just hate how Nintendo has forsaken its loyal fans in favor of people who might not even care about their products. All of the stuff they announced was crap. I mean, the Wii is probably the second worst current gen system, behind the PS3, which has maybe 2 or 3 good games and is as expensive as hell. To date, there is not a SINGLE good game out for the Wii that I have played. I always just use it for my gamecube games. Maybe if they focused less on crappy motion sensing than on solid gameplay, Nintendo would have my undying respect again. Did you guys see the Penny Arcade about E3? It pretty much sums it right up.

blindsided82
blindsided82

@ ThAdEa82 and every other mislead person in here: Ok, for the last time, it was nevereverever open to the public, even in the year when it was a complete circus, period. Read previous posts to understand this concept, and why you and other would likely still not be able to go if it were to return to its old ways.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

Many understand that E3 was a business conference. But thats what it WAS and it should be much more. They should include the public. And since the public was included and now they are being excluded...that will cripple E3

blindsided82
blindsided82

@CTifer No, if you read the article again, you'll see it was an EA exec and one from Ubisoft NA that complained and said they they should change it back to the old circus formula. My comment was well placed if you had read all the way through.

CTifer
CTifer

@blindsided: I dunno, I see EA's move as that of whining because the old circus formula was really more beneficial to them. ---------------------- What does EA have to do with any of this? Do some people wake up in the morning thinking "Hmmm, I'm going to bash EA for no good reason today"?

blindsided82
blindsided82

Oh, and before one more sadly misinformed person says otherwise: E3 was NEVER just open to the public. You had to at the very least work at a retailer that sold games, while not a difficult task to accomplish, still meant that not any Joe Blow could just walk in off the street. It was previously open to anyone involved in the "industry". Unfortunately (or fortunately if you liked that clustered mess that was the old E3), the definition of being in the industry blurred until finally even stock-boys and those working the registers at your local Best Buy counted as being in the "industry". So to reiterate, E3 was NEVER open to the public. Stop whining for it to go back to the old way, because chances are you still wouldn't be able to go even if they did. You get to see more of the good stuff just watching it anyway.