PC Gamer’s Tom Senior talks about bringing the platform back to E3
The PC can lose out in the tumult of E3, to the extent that publishers occasionally forget to mention their PC editions entirely when announcing new games.
This year, we launched the PC Gaming Show at the Belasco Theatre to raise the PC’s profile and shine a spotlight on games that are ordinarily lost in the scrum.
Our US team led by Tim Clark and Evan Lahti, with support from Samuel Roberts in the UK, put the show together in a short time frame, and it was a considerable success.
180,000 viewers tuned into the Twitch broadcast, demonstrating an appetite for better PC representation at the industry’s biggest event. We also received a lot of excellent feedback that we can use for future shows and – perhaps most importantly – we got Truck Simulator trending worldwide on Twitter.
The PC Gaming Show generated news that meant a lot to our audience. The reveal of new terrain for Arma might seem like a relatively minor event, but PC gaming is full of niche games with huge, dedicated audiences.
Microsoft’s appearance at the show created another interesting moment as Phil Spencer answered questions about Microsoft’s lack of support for the PC as a gaming platform – an exchange bolstered by a deeper interview on PCGamer.com.
Meanwhile, PC gamers enthusiastically greeted reveals for Pillars of Eternity: The White March, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, No Man’s Sky PC and Planet Coaster – the latest in a long and fondly-remembered lineage of theme park sims.
"The reveal of new terrain for Arma might seem like a relatively minor event, but PC gaming is full of niche games with huge, dedicated audiences."
Tom Senior, PC Gamer
As always, it’s our job to find the PC gaming angle on E3.
The PC’s prolific modding communities were keen to hear news of mod support for XCOM 2 and Fallout 4 at this year’s conferences, and we paid close attention to big games that only the PC can do, like Total War: Warhammer, and games with a strong PC heritage, like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Hitman.
Our readers also love hardware news, and E3 and the PC Gaming Show gave us a chance to continue with the programme of expanded hardware coverage we started earlier this year. We were also able to set up numerous features and exclusives for future issues of the UK and US editions of PC Gamer magazine.
The rush of E3 announcements was important, of course – our round-up of all the games of E3 and their PC outlook was one of our best-performing articles – but we also have success when we focus on details our readers love to obsess over. Our audience had questions that needed answering, like ‘What’s going on with those weird tentacles in Dishonored 2?’.
While our reporters were asking questions and sending back hands-on impressions from the show floor, our team members in Bath and San Francisco provided frame-by-frame analysis and opinion.
Our columns, E3 awards and a special E3 edition of our weekly ‘Highs and Lows in PC Gaming’ feature all worked to deliver the PC gaming perspective on an event that’s still heavily focused on the console market.
Fortunately there was plenty to be excited about; E3 2015 turned out to be the liveliest expo in years.