E3 - Game Over
Journalists, publishers, and developers alike all love to gripe about E3, the annual trade show that takes place every May in Los Angeles. The crowds, cost, and noise are just a few complaints you'll read in just about anyone's coverage of the show. Despite its many issues, the show is still an invaluable way to disseminate information on the videogame industry. Or at least it was. Several media outlets, including Gamespot and Next-Gen.biz are reporting that E3 is poised to be at best downsized, and at worst eliminated.
Both articles cite "industry sources" that say serious discussions on the show's future have taken place, with an official memo detailing E3's fate due Monday, July 31st. The high cost of creating a demo, buying floor space, building a booth, and staffing a booth, are some of the reasons pinpointed as to why the show is in danger of being eliminated.
Gamespot seems to feel that what will result is a pared down show, with hundreds of attendees, rather than the tens of thousands that currently attend. Next-Gen concedes that a smaller version of the show may be revealed, but that will be little more than an attempt by the ESA to save face. They seems to feel that the show will be cancelled outright.
Both sites seem to agree that some sort of formal announcement will be made in the next 48 hours, so until then all we can do is speculate. One thing is for sure - E3 as we know it, is gone.
7/30/2006 Aaron Thomas