When E3 was in Atlanta (1998 ish), I had a great time walking the show floor, trying the demos, getting free beer from Sony, picking up all the free crap, and then some. All for free as a member of the gaming press. Those days are long gone.
gamesindustry.biz makes a case that something has to change or E3 will cease to exist
“The solitude of this year’s E3 made patently obvious to us that the ESA membership made a mistake in downsizing the show last year,” said Pachter.
“Prior to last year, publishers and console manufacturers used E3 to address the needs of their core constituents: media, retail, investors, and consumers. By choosing to eliminate any potential for a consumer element to the show, the ESA chased away much of the television media.
“By scheduling the show two months later than in the past, retailers stayed away. By scheduling the show during the calendar quarter financial quiet period, only limited access was provided for buy and sell side analysts. ESA leadership appears to agree that the timing and scope of the show is a mistake, but is hamstrung by some of its more influential members, who appear to be pettily reluctant to spend money in order to showcase the industry,” he added.
Pachter said that the ESA must strike a balance between the huge 60,000 attendees of the old E3, and the relatively small 5,000 person shows of the of the past two years.
I think most publishers and of course the Big Three hold something back for other shows – Tokyo Game Show and specific publisher days. It is obvious that something has to change when the biggest announcement is that Final Fantasy XIII is going multiplatform. It will be interesting to watch E3 evolve because the show is almost irrelevant.