PlayStation Boss Says E3 Didn't Keep Up With Industry Change

"A trade show without a lot of trade activity."

204 Comments
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Now Playing: Why PlayStation Is Skipping E3 2019 - GS News Update

Sony's decision to forgo E3 2019 caused waves, and the statement regarding its rationale revolved mostly around finding "inventive opportunities to engage the community" and plans to "think differently and experiment." SIE Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden has now explained further--touching not only on what they plan to do differently in the future, but why E3 was no longer as useful.

Layden told CNet that the nature of E3 had been built up around standards that no longer apply, both for retailers and journalists. At its inception, the show had been a place for retailers to plan their stock, and for journalists to plan cover stories for magazines. In the modern era, he says, both of those have shifted.

"Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year," he said. "They're making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers. So retail has really dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it's lost its impact around that.

"So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it," he added.

Against all of those market forces, Sony was making a plan to do fewer and bigger games, which meant that June was no longer a good time in the year to outline its latest plans. "We feel like if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have [the] expectation 'Oh, they're going to tell us something.'"

The idea of setting expectations echoes Layden's rationale for skipping PSX in 2018, which was announced before Sony pulled out of E3 as well. We don't know yet when Sony will be outlining its own upcoming plans, or in what form. It follows big publishers like Activision and EA who have scaled back their E3 plans in recent years. Sony's show in 2018 was also very different, focusing narrowly on just four games.

For its part, Microsoft seems eager to fill the void left by its biggest console competitor. Xbox head Phil Spencer has said the company is going to "go and be as big at E3 as we've ever been."

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spectreXr1

That was nice damage control. They showed stuff too early and ran out of games. Nothing they can do show wise can equal e3. Still the biggest event in gaming

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Gamerforlife96

@spectrexr1: damn xbot what are you doing here go troll somewhere else or wait for your shitty crackshit 3

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Gamerforlife96

@pcgamer2019: you are here taking shit you sound like a autistic kid so I will ignore you like the rest do PS.don't forget to take your meds

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Gamerforlife96

@pcgamer2019: you are here taking shit you sound like a autistic kid so I will ignore you like the rest do

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spectreXr1

@gamerforlife96: troll me?? Lol nah . And if u don't care about crackdown why u mentioning it . Don't see me talking about trash dreams for PS4 lol. Or days gone aka fake last of us

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Gamerforlife96

@spectrexr1: fake last of us??? Damn you are a troller. Dreams is best than half of your shitty Xbox library

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spectreXr1

@gamerforlife96: come on brah you can't tell me u look at days gone and like yea this is orginal . Has the same bottle throwing , weapon crafting take out the zombie type game play as last of us . The graphics even look like last of us. Not saying the story is the same . And dreams is a poor man's project spark from Xbox . Got to keep it real . It looks cookie cutter from Sony other games .

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Gamerforlife96

@spectrexr1: still better than Microsoft copy and paste games

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spectreXr1

@gamerforlife96: come on brah Ms doesn't do cookie cutter . Last of us uncharted god or war horizon zero Dawn ghost of tushima death stranding days gone ....ALL 3RD PERSON ACTION / AVENTURE GAMES . Halo gears state of decay Forza sea of thieves halo wars killer instinct crackdown. All diff genre of games . Nothing is like something else . That is Sony . Sony doesn't even have a mp first party exclusive. Stop

Avatar image for gamerforlife96
Gamerforlife96

@spectrexr1: ahhh xbot ahhhh so you gonna ignore bloodborne infamous ratchet and clank drive club gravity rush yakuza. Xbox has the same tired franchise halo,gears,forza

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Tiwill44

I'm looking forward to E3 even more than usual, because I think it'll be interesting to see whether or not Sony stays a part of the conversation when they're not there. A lot of people claimed that Sony won the last few E3s despite the fact that they showed the same games every time. But now they're not showing up at all. So people will have to give more credit to the others this time, which will be refreshing.

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lostn

@Tiwill44: They didn't win it by showing games. Microsoft lost it by showing nothing.

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sealionact

@lostn: lol, which E3 were you watching?

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lostn

@sealionact: All of them.

The most recent one they announced 5 new studios, but no games from them.

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sealionact

@lostn: Again, what were you watching? I mean announcing those 5 studios alone beat Sony's repeat showing of 4 games - most of which STILL don't have a release date - and then there were MS's fh4, gears 5, halo infinite, ori 2 and 14 other games not available on PS4 or Nintendo, and content for pubg and Cuphead, updates including Dolby vision, Atmos and adaptive controllers.

Mind you, if Sony couldn't announce new games at last years E3, no wonder they're backing out of it this year, with no newly announced games on the horizon.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@sealionact: Studios without games mean nothing. You can read about that in a press release. You don't need a big stage to announce something like that if you're not going to show anything from them. This is like telling your friends, I bought a new car, but refusing to tell them what car you bought and not letting them see it for a few years. Why should they be excited on this stage?

The games they actually showed were from the same few franchises MS recycles every few years. Where is something exciting? This was a very boring conference. "Content" for PUBG doesn't need to be on stage. Neither do updates for Dolby Vision or Atmos or controllers. New content as a whole is boring. A new game beats new content. And they were very short on those. New 'content' can be shown at individual booths. Leave the stage for mind blowers.

The stage is where I want to see games that blow me away. Forza Horizon is another Forza game, Halo Infinite is another Halo game, and we've seen our share of those already. Show some new IPs for chrissake. Oh that's right, MS aren't capable of creating any unless they acquire them from another studio. That's why you're going to get Halo 7, 8 and 9, and Gears 4, 5, and 6, and most likely 7, 8, and 9, also, and a Forza game that releases every year like clockwork, ala FIFA and CoD. I believe one year they showed a trio of Gears games like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Epic sold that franchise off for a reason. They were done making them. Of course since MS can't make new IPs of their own (Rare notwithstanding), they have to go and buy someone else's work to continue making it themselves. They did the same with Halo btw. They acquired the studio in order to make it Xbox exclusive. Originally it was going to be a Mac game.

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sealionact

@lostn: Listen, I get it. Ms could have revealed countless new titles, and you still would have been "bored"....some people just hate Microsoft.

You cannot seriously tell me that Sony makes games, and ms buys studios to make games without a smile on your fave. Sony didn't buy Naughty Dog and all the rest to make games?

Please.

I'm not trying to convince you that ms had a good E3..I really couldn't care less, and you've made it clear that you think Sony had a good E3 by showing 4 games. 3 of which still don't have a release date today.

I'm sure that if you poo poo halo infinite as "Just another halo", you'll do the same with just another last of us, uncharted, god of war and so on.

Right?

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SupaMasterGamer

What I think his really going on is that Sony has nothing to show+they are not ready for PS5 so they are trying to avoid bad press on the biggest stage of gaming because yes the gaming industry is changing but E3 is still the biggest Event. In fact, it's the only gaming event when all mainstream media from all over the world are talking about Videogames...

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@supamastergamer: correction: they have nothing NEW to show in 2019. they still have the best exclusive lineup for 2019. let's count them, shall we. 1. days gone (might not be great). 2. ghost of tsushima. 3. dreams. 4. death stranding. 5. last of us ii. sony doesn't NEED any new games announced as they are going to have a hard enough time as it is cramming in 5 massive games this calendar year.

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sealionact

@Xristophoros: Describing Dreams and Days gone as "Massive" is a heck of a stretch, and they are also the only games in your list confirmed for 2019.

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Xristophoros

@sealionact: have you not been following the dreams beta? there has never been a game creation tool on this level... ever. people are making every genre of game in this thing, including a remake of p.t. there are no limits. it is no wonder it has taken 5+ years to develop dreams. it might not sell 10m copies, but it is going to have a very dedicated and loyal following for many years to come. a game with infinite replay value and no limits as to what can be achieved... yes, that sounds like a massive game to me. true, not all those games are confirmed for 2019... yet. but it is likely that at least 3 or 4 will be released this year if not all of them.

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sealionact

@Xristophoros: Dreams doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. It's definitely not going to be a "system seller" which is why I - and most people - don't regard it as anything else than a niche title.

That's not a bad thing, it'll have a loyal following...but then so does Sea of Thieves, and that's hardly regarded as a "massive" title.

My point was that Sony displayed 4 games we already knew about, and 3 of those still don't have a release date today. This time, they have even less which is why they are pulling out from E3.

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SupaMasterGamer

@Xristophoros: well... this what I meant...nothing new. Nobody wants to see a game 5 years in a row at E3.

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spectreXr1

@supamastergamer: facts

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SParent180

That's a reasonable stance. I even wonder how beneficial E3 is for these companies. There are so many games and announcements that only the most impressive ones get remembered. Sony, and other companies, are probably better off just having their own show or making announcements when they have the sole spotlight and don't need to compete with everyone else.

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jmartin1016

I used to love E3 coverage. Getting the E3 edition of whatever gaming magazine I subscribed to at the time induced much joy. I don't think it's as valid now as it was then. I really dislike how there is a period of about three weeks around E3 where there is nearly no gaming news. It all gets announced at E3 and a lot of good games get lost in the shuffle. This is obviously a building year for Sony so better not to go shooting off at the mouth.

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Shantmaster_K

Such arrogance by Sony lately. I hope it bites them in the ass hard.

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Xristophoros

@Shantmaster_K: how can it bite them in the ass when they consistently have the best exclusive lineup year after year? let's count their 2019 lineup, shall we. 1. days gone (might not be great). 2. ghost of tsushima. 3. dreams. 4. death stranding. 5. last of us ii. sony doesn't need e3 and certainly they don't need people like YOU.

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sealionact

@Xristophoros: So you're saying that Sony won't get bit in the ass because they're arrogant...

.....because they have the best games, they don't need E3, and "don't need you"?

Isn't that the very definition of arrogance?

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doremonhg9x

@sealionact: Uhh, exactly. They can be fucking assholes for all we know, but they consistently release good game, good system seller. And that's all that matters. What do you even get with your Xbox? Portable PC in the living room?

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sealionact

@doremonhg9x: Ooh look. A white knight.

What exactly was it I said that upset you?

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Xristophoros

@sealionact: no, arrogance is wishing for a company to fail for no other reason than spite and envy. the op is clearly one such person.

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Shantmaster_K

@Xristophoros: I own every PlayStation, so they already have me. They do have great exclusives, but the fact that they aren’t doing these big events, along with not doing cross platform play, just makes them look bad. The ending to your comment makes you sound like a 12 year old fanboy, who blindly follows Sony. It’s ok to be a fan, and share criticisms.

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Xristophoros

@Shantmaster_K: so just because a company you supposedly "respect" is changing its marketing strategy, you want them to fail? you think you know better than them and should dictate their ways? not being happy with the lack of crossplay is one thing (at least they are getting better in that respect), but you sound like a whiny child who didn't get his dessert. no company is going to be perfect 100% of the time... this whole e3 thing will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, just like it means nothing for nintendo as well (since they stopped doing the pressers).

Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

@Xristophoros: I’m not wishing they’d fail, nor never said so. And Idk how my post shows that I’m “whining”. Putting words into someone else’s mouth shows your character. They are just making themselves look bad for not coming to these events. It’s a fan service too.

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aross2004

@Shantmaster_K: E3 has been slowly devolving for years now. I don't think Sony is arrogant for pulling out.

I think it was a bold move.

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aross2004

@pcgamer2019: Typical post from you.

You're gonna have to try harder than that to get under my skin.

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spectreXr1

@aross2004: if u look up the attendence numbers the last few years the numbers have gone way up . So that's not really Tru . They ran out of stuff to show . And I know if Sony was going and Ms pulled out no one would say it's a bold move lol they would say Ms done they really got no games lol

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gotrekfabian

@aross2004: Maybe you haven't enjoyed it as much rather than it devolving as you put it. Maybe you could tell me an event that was better than E3 for gamers?

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Shantmaster_K

@aross2004: and PSX?

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Asultana121x

Personally I don't like the direction gaming is going, but I've been gaming since 1988 so perhaps I think more old school. Games turning into digital only, or service based I don't like. Don't care for multiplayer or online only games either.

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attirex

@asultana121x:

I've been gaming for almost as long (ie, also an old fart), and don't miss CD/DVD installs one bit. Blech, what a pain in the ass. Gimme downloads.

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PCGamer2019

@asultana121x: Donmt play them then, plenty of games for everyone or do you just want them to make games you like?

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spectreXr1

@asultana121x: agreed the digital push is them slowly taking away our ownership of games . I'm still 90 percent physical. Gonna try stay like that long as I can .

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SParent180

@asultana121x: Luckily there is enough evidence to support that there is a strong fanbase and marketplace for single player, story driven games. RDR2 sold extremely well. The Sony exclusives last year did well, namely God of War and Spiderman. I'm also expecting good numbers for the recently release Resident Evil 2.

The downside is that we aren't getting as many of these games but we still see at least 1 or 2 great single player experience each year so I'll take that.

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jagdedge124

I think they're out of gas until next gen, and have nothing to offer.

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SParent180

@jagdedge124: yeah I'd like to at least hear an update about some of there games, mainly Last of Us and Ghost of Tsushima. If these games end up getting pushed to next gen that's fine but it would be nice just to hear an update about when we should expect these games and if they'll be current gen, next gen, or cross gen.

Maybe you are right and Sony is just waiting for an appropriate time to announce their next gen console instead of just showing off the few games we already know about.

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videogameninja

Y’know, I understand where Sony is coming from but at the same time a part of me still is saddened by the news that they will be skipping out of what many consider the biggest week in gaming for the year.

What’s even more worrisome reading these quotes is that it sounds like Sony may be permanently out of the whole E3 event for the indefinite future.

I know E3 may not have the impact it once did but for hardcore gamers all across the globe E3 has been associated with probably what can best be analogous to the few days leading up to Christmas for a child. All the excitement, all the gossip, all the reveals, and surprises for the coming year and beyond are on full display and it is at this event that many gaming sites compile most of their news for the coming year.

At the very least this article gives gamers some hope in the way of this “Playstation event” (this month?) so perhaps we will see some huge name games getting release dates (Last of Us part 2, Death Stranding, etc...) but still the kid ninja gamer in me can’t help but feel that it is the end of an era in all of our gaming lives.

-GAME OVER NINJA APPROVED-

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SParent180

@videogameninja:

"I know E3 may not have the impact it once did but for hardcore gamers all across the globe E3 has been associated with probably what can best be analogous to the few days leading up to Christmas for a child."

In a way I think this is part why Sony is pulling out. Not because they don't like the fans or hardcore gamers but because it is more for the fans than the developers and publishers. How much does Sony, or any company, really benefit from E3? They get some exposure during a week where every company is showing off their latest and greatest games and products. They are probably much better off doing there own show or making announcements when they don't need to compete against every other company in the business.

It's disappointing for fans and gamers. I think you nailed it when you said it's similar to the days leading up to Christmas. But I can definitely understand if Sony doesn't find it necessary to attend E3.

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BarcaAzul

@videogameninja:

Yes it sounds like unless the show or timing changes, they won't be going back.

I have heard similar discussions around other trade shows, but some say that they can reach all partners in one event that would take them months otherwise.

Let's wait and see if there is a Feb event, PS5 event perhaps? Maybe just wishful thinking

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swiller

So a "Destination PlayStation" this month? What day? First I heard of it.

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Ragnarocking

@swiller: Destination Playstation is an event for devs/retailers/journos/investors

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Hagan

@swiller: I know right? They are doing a hell of a job marketing that event if they are considering it as their substitution for E3.

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ballaShotCaller

The real reason they are not there is because they would be showing the exact same games they have been showing at every e3 for passed 3 years and don't have anything new to show until they are ready to announce the ps5.

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aross2004

@ballashotcaller: Or maybe E3 has sucked for years now.