Now there's a headline I never expected to write.
The date clash between E3 and our esteemed monarch’s 60th year on the throne is a grand inconvenience. And one most of you hadn’t seen coming until we pointed it out.
One person we canvassed told us: ‘But there’s nothing we can do about it’. Of course not. The dates for E3 2012 are fixed, as are the UK Bank Holidays. These are big establishments that even MCV can’t lobby to change.
UK firms are already drafting up HR action plans. At one point this week I was even cc’d into an email with the British Consulate saying ‘Ask this guy – he knows about it.’
The biggest impact won’t even be on those jetting off to E3. While for some a stroll around Downtown LA or a regretted night at the Saddle Ranch is better than a long rainy weekend in Blighty, people with families or loved ones see a missed Bank Holiday as a missed moment to spend together. Away from work. Standing in a sweaty crowded convention centre is the total opposite.
And pity the retail staff and journalists, PRs and marketing execs who will have to come in to work on the Monday and Tuesday to update databases, cover announcements and upload assets. So while Christmas hasn’t been cancelled and this isn’t yet another ‘crisis’ for the UK market, it is a bloody great pain in the arse.
Speaking of date clashes… GAMEfest seemingly ran smoothly last week, and publishers that once grumbled about having to pick both the Birmingham show and London-based Eurogamer Expo swiftly made it from one site to the other.
It’s too early to call who might have won this little UK battle, with the incumbent show still yet to start as I write this.
But already it was clear that there are marked differences between the two. And I don’t just mean the casual vs hardcore audience debate. Publishers tell us that the expense for one over the other was marked – GAME’s evolution into a high-profile and trusted marketing vehicle for content comes at a price.
Time will tell if it was all worth it.