Re: Death to E3!

So a couple days ago I was going to post about Shamus Young’s Death To E3 article, but I ended up doing a little venting inspired by something else he had written instead.

So now I’m going to respond to both his Death to E3 article and it’s follow-up.

First of all, I need to point out that I had a “green badge” which meant I was allowed to go to the exhibition halls, but not the conference rooms. (Red Badges are for exhibitors, I think it was blue for media, and black badges are for super-ultra-elites that can go anywhere.) So half the stuff you see in the various videos coming out from E3 are places I couldn’t go.

“This is not unlike E3, when everyone gathers together under one roof and everybody tries to talk at the same time.” , “For every game or company we hear about, we’re missing ten others.”

This is true to a certain extent. Certainly if you’re only reading about The Latest Most Awesome Headline News From E3, you probably saw footage of the God of War III demo on the first day. I actually didn’t notice there were playable demos of GoW3 until day three.

Admittedly, I had different priorities from the start, which is why I’m not going to cover any of the “big stuff” on my weblog. But the fact of the matter is that the little guys are there too, and not just in the Indiecade. It’s more of a problem with the media folks’ priorities rather than E3 itself.

“Don’t forget to buy a few bins of giveaway swag and hire some booth babes to hand it out.”

There was a lot less of that this year. This was my first E3, but some of my companions had been to the 2006 show and there’s photo evidence that this year’s swag was not up to the standards of the days of yore. Sure, I entered a raffle for an XB360, got plenty of T shirts, a couple inflatable pool toys, and a code to download Battlefield 1943 on the PS3, but mostly it was promotional material for the games themselves. Most of that promotional material was being handed out by the mid-sized to small companies, so it’s easier for me to remember them a week later than all the noise the big guys were making.

“What exactly are you getting for all of that money? Because if all you want is the attention…”

Actually, a lot of serious business deals were also going on behind the scenes. I don’t know any of the details, of course, but there were a lot of people taking advantage of the fact that it’s a trade show for people in the business. There were lots of meetings behind closed doors, and quite a few guys in business suits who (shockingly) weren’t collecting loot or paying attention to the games at all!

“If you go the E3 route it’s entirely possible your game will be lost in the noise.”

Shamus, the fact of the matter is: there are several other levels to E3 other than what you get to see in videos on G4 or gaming news sites. You really do need to go next year.

Now a few comments on the follow-up article:

“Because Jedi are special. Except, in an MMO, you can simply choose to be a Jedi.”

Actually, you’re completely forgetting about the playable Sith characters. I think most of the Goldshire-dwellers are going to go for The Awesome Side of the Force and leave the Jedi alone.

“the truth is that Telltale games has a spectacular track record. “

Plus, if you count the five new episodes as separate games, Telltale is about to produce more Monkey Island content than Lucasarts did in the first place! (Well, okay, I doubt any of the Tales will be the same length as Secret, but it’s still exciting.)

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