2007 was a shambles. 2008 was a disappointment. But 2009 saw E3 back with a vengeance – perfectly balanced between the huge scale the industry needed to show off, and a more personal focus.
It will come as a huge relief to many in the industry that last week’s E3 in LA was neither a waste of time nor a waste of money.
With over 40,000 attendees – a huge number, but a third less than when the show was at its pandemonium peak of over 60,000 in 2006 – you could certainly feel that the show was busy, but not too manic.
Sure, there were queues for new games, a bit of chaos outside the press conferences and a dash of controversy – but it wouldn’t be the expo without it. And when those things are all part of the experience – and not E3’s reason to exist – it’s clear that, finally, the organisers at US publishers and the ESA have found a winning formula.
No wonder, then, that the show has already been confirmed for next year, taking place June 15th to 17th.
But don’t just take our word for it. We asked a variety of leading names across American publishing and UK retail for their reaction to the show…
“I had a chance to walk around the show and see the first party press conferences and I am excited – I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm everyone has in the industry. So it’s great to see the return of this big, enthusiastic event.”
Mike Griffith, CEO, Activision Publishing
“I think E3 is back! And thank goodness – the trick was to control the arms race, and make sure we can have conversations and not be drowned out by booming speakers. I think E3 generates and projects the energy the industry is about and the growth the industry is about, plus the passion that gamers and publishers have for the products. I think this year was great – and I think next year will be even better.”
Ben Feder, CEO, Take 2
“It’s been a fantastic show. The noise level has increased a bit from last year so that shows we’re doing something right!”
Darrell Rodriguez, President, LucasArts
“The show was a vast improvement on the previous year. It had the energy and buzz of the past, without the unmanageable crowds and over-the-top booths. All business and easy to navigate – I’ll give it two thumbs up.”
Peter Moore, President, EA Sports
“In my opinion E3 was a very successful show this year; it delivered just enough razzmatazz without returning to the ‘over-the-top’ stands. The noise levels were at a level where business could be done and the reduced attendance levels from its heyday allowed you to get close to product as well as maneuver around the show floors a lot easier. I feel E3 is back with a vengeance and I would like to see more retailers from across international markets attend next year. I hope the show can maintain the disciplines imposed this year and that we continue to learn from the mistakes of the past.”
Ian Curran, EVP – International, THQ
“This year’s E3 was definitely the most exciting in recent years – the console manufacturers certainly grabbed the headlines by showcasing their future developments but there was certainly plenty for gamers to get excited about for this year. The new Mario games on Wii, Modern Warfare 2 and Halo ODST on Xbox and the new PSPgo and Gran Turismo Portable will certainly get core and casual gamers excited in the run-up to Christmas. We’ll be working very closely with both first and third party partners through the next few months to offer the best deals for our customers on all these exciting products.”
Martyn Gibbs, Customer and Brand Director, Gamestation
“It was a great E3, with a return to form in terms of big announcements and a focused approach for retail – and not too many people. There were three very strong presentations from the format holders: Nintendo have a lot of strong titles for Q4, Microsoft certainly stole the show with their presentation – great product, some great future innovation and incredible celebrities – whilst Sony surprised with a strong PS3 line up and some exciting new motion sensor controller applications. Away from the conferences, there was a great product line up for this Q4 and beyond from the third parties.”
Duncan Cross, Asda