Lots of people asked me what I thought of E3 2016. I really appreciated all of the lovely seating areas—made possible by empty spaces in the major halls. No need to sit on the floor against the wall to work or have a meeting. . . But the reason for the seating is disturbing and makes me concerned for the future of the event.
My ideal E3 would be a show that stays industry-focused and does not become a consumer event. However, it needs to reflect the real game industryas it exists today and not just be the console and PC show that we have now.
We need a show that encompasses mobile, social, casual, casino, hardware, software, peripherals and all of the verticals in the game industry. We need to bring together the IP, the developers and the publishers across all platforms and throughout international markets so the real possibilities in deals can be made, the real ROI can be achieved.
I think the reason this hasn’t happened is because the ESA is a lobbying organization. The purpose of the Entertainment Software Association is to lobby U.S. federal and state governments to protect the game industry from unfair regulation—regulation of video games unlike other media. The ESA has been very successful as a lobbying organization.
The ESA is not an event planning organization. They are not UBM, for example. GDC has grown a lot since UBM has run it. E3 has had a spotty record.
Perhaps it’s time for the ESA to either get an international-level event planning organization as a subcontractor for the event or to release it to another org?