The usual US suspects may have managed to bring a touch of razzmatazz to this year’s downsized E3 – but former attendees on this side of the Atlantic have poured scorn on the UK being ‘frozen out’ of the expo.
And domestic retailers and publishers have warned that the Leipzig Game Convention could become the trade show of choice for Europe-based market players if E3 doesn’t increase in scale for 2008.
“The UK market lacked both clarity and enthusiasm for this year’s E3,” said Gamestation senior product manager Anna Downing. “The old E3 gave us a glimpse of where tomorrow’s customers could be found.”
GAME’s commercial planning manager Alex Vines said: “The new-look E3 is not designed for European retailers.”
Head of marketing at Oxygen David Young offered: “We sensed that E3 had lost the buzz that made it so crucial. It appeared as if the industry had decided that Leipzig would be the new soul of industry networking.”
And Empire Europe general manager David Pain added: “E3 could still be a useful vehicle for us if it came a little earlier and not so close to Leipzig. We’d require a strong presence of European press, distributors and retail buyers.”
Business development director at Mastertronic Garry Wiilams said: “As most American companies didn’t even invite their European staff I think the message they were sending is clear.
"We took the view that by the time the Americans have realised they have lost all the much needed hype and ancillary business that operates upon the periphery of the industry, the need to fuel growth will mean it will only be a number of weeks before new players and emerging sectors are embraced and we hear that a show is back in Las Vegas with us outsiders welcome again.”