Not many attendees were impressed with this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). During an interview held Thursday, (July 17, 2008) Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s senior managing director and general manager of entertainment analysis and the development division, told MSNBC that even though many fans of long running Nintendo franchise games such as Mario, Zelda or even StarFox were upset he felt that E3 was no longer a place for those types of games:
“For a very long time, E3 was an event where – and certainly Nintendo included – catered specifically to the core gamer. Now we look at more … an opportunity for us to introduce new concepts and new types of play that we intend to bring to the broader audience, particularly because of the media that gathers at E3 now. So while attending an E3 event like this, they might be given the impression that Nintendo is no longer focusing on the games that appeal to the core gamer, in fact we’re still working on many of those titles, but it’s just not the type of event where we’ll be showcasing that anymore.”
The number of E3 attendees, according to GameDaily, has dwindled since 2006 when it was downsized to provide a less costly event to exhibitors.
“I hate E3 like this,” Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we’ll have to have our own private events.”
During an interview July 17, 2008 with GamesIndustryBiz Ubisoft executive director Alain Corre expressed that the conference was held at the wrong time, wrong date and location:
“For E3, it’s very important to be there, and to present the games, because even though it’s much, much smaller than it used to be, still the American media are here, all our competitors, so you need be there, to be ready and to share product. It’s one milestone in the communication of your products throughout the year, and it’s important because it’s the ramp-up for Christmas. [But] E3 here, mid-July, in the Convention Center in downtown LA – it’s not appropriate I would say.”
UbiSoft North American president Laurent Detoc told the San Francisco Chronicle the experience was horrible and remembered when “the world used to come to E3. Now it’s like a pipe-fitters show in the basement.”
Even Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter had a few things to tell GameDaily (July 21, 2008) about this year’s format of the event.
“In our view, E3 is headed for extinction, unless the publishers and console manufacturers wake up to the fact that nobody cares about the show anymore. We believe that show is ill-timed, coming after most major holiday announcements are out, and landing during ‘quiet period’ for most of the companies (making meetings with investors near-impossible).
The lack of a spectacle will likely keep media away in the future, the lack of surprises will keep retailers away, and the lack of interaction with management will likely keep investors away. Without these three constituencies, the show will likely lose its relevance. We strongly believe that E3 should be held no later than early June (when companies can meet with investors and when some ‘secrets’ have yet to be revealed), and believe that the spectacle should be restored by increasing the size of the show space.”
Even so, word has just come out that E3 2008 will happen with little indication that the format will change.