VideoGamer.com head of video production Simon Miller explains how the site’s comedic approach to E3 helped it stand out from the crowd
For E3 2015 VideoGamer – from a video standpoint – decided to try something different.
Using comedy as a basis for the majority of our video output has always been at the forefront of what we do, and over the last few months this has evolved to the point where alter-egos and characters have been introduced. To sum it up: we all really like WWE, so thought we’d try and rip it off.
With that in mind, Jim Trinca and I came up with the idea of live streaming some of the major conferences and reacting to them as ‘Yir Auld Da’ and ‘Simon ‘The Miller Report’ Miller’.
Along with attempting something new in order to see how our audience responded, we wanted to try a different spin due to how much competition there is during E3 week. It can be really hard to stand out when every gaming outlet is working off the same show – often it boils down to whoever gets their video up first or wins the ever-ridiculous (but important) SEO war.
Our thinking with this idea was, as well as those tuning in in at the time, others would return to our archived livestreams to get an alternative take once ‘normal’ coverage had been consumed. Watching two real humans go slack-jawed at a Final Fantasy VII Remake is one thing, but seeing a fictional elderly Scottish man and a ridiculous, moronic video game reporter do the same is a little different.
I believe we were successful, too, given that we had good traffic during the conferences themselves and for some time afterwards. Admittedly, the internet lived up to its reputation and threw a few viewers our way who had no idea the whole thing was a joke (they were not happy…), but ultimately we did create and offer content that could only be found on VideoGamerTV. Either that or people thought we were insane.
Outside of this we had comprehensive coverage thanks to E3 – from our impressions of new trailers to gameplay thoughts – and finding a balance between the comedy and straight-up information felt like a smart decision during the week. It’s important to get people through the door with the details they’re looking for before appealing to their nonsensical side with content that’s a lot lighter and focused on entertaining.
Steve Burns and David Scammell were also an important piece of the puzzle. Being in LA allowed them to cover the show directly, play games, interview developers and generate news stories for the website. In terms of video, it meant they could record on-location reactions which we could then use as another angle for our viewers.
Tom Orry, James Orry and Brett Phipps were also imperative to proceedings, taking care of events from the VG office and giving us more opinions to showcase and react to.
This year’s E3 was definitely a worthy experiment that resulted in some unique and thorough coverage for VideoGamer.com.