A defiant ESA, the organiser of E3, says the LA expo is ‘essential and critical' to the games industry.
Its comments come after Activision joined EA in not renewing its E3 booth for 2016. The two businesses follow the likes of Sega, Bandai Namco and Disney in no-longer booking space on the show floor.
And to counteract the exodus of exhibitors, ESA's Rich Taylor tells MCV that E3 may open its doors to consumers to win back some of these companies – a process that could start as early as this year.
The ‘is E3 still relevant?' question gets asked every year, and then gets answered in June of that same year with a resounding ‘yes',” he insisted.
E3 is beyond relevant, it is essential and critical to the game and entertainment industry calendar. It changes, it has never been a stagnant show and this year is no different. Last year if you asked most people, in the aftermath of E3 how they found it, many will tell you it was the best E3 they can remember. But in the ramp up to that show, I was answering the same sort of questions that you just put to me.
One of the things we do at the close of every E3 is that we talk to everyone we can... and we try and figure out how to change the experience and make it better. We've done that this time, and we will be making adjustments to guarantee it is going to be a tremendous show. There are a number of press briefings going on - a record number,I believe - that starts a few days before E3. That's a reflection of the fact that people realise that this is the place to make news and break news, and have that amplified around the globe in a way like no other show can.”
He added: The consumer question is certainly part of the equation and one we will be taking a hard look at. You saw last year, certain companies brought along some of their most valued customers. We will probably end up doing that again this year, and there will be some additional elements on top of that, that may or may not come. But we are always trying to figure out what we need to do, such as finding ways to better accommodate and facilitate YouTube personalities.”
For this year's show, Taylor says that although EA and Activision may be absent, ESA are actively pursuing other big business to fill the gap.
We obviously want to have a robust, energetic show floor. So if people aren't there, we will find others to be there. E3 is a place that people want to be. We are not a mortuary convention, it is quite the opposite. There is a lot of activity in this space, from the college level to indie developers to triple-A titles. We are talking to, and are talking to, a number of entities and developers, and encouraging them and inviting them to be a part of the show, when perhaps in the past they have not been.”