E3 2012 Day 3 Report
Sean W. Gibson / Jun 8th, 2012 No Comments
Getting to E3
Fortunately, our headquarters are pretty close, located in Irvine, CA, which is approximately 40 miles away from E3. Given the gluttony of traffic in Orange County and Los Angeles, a single drive would probably have taken about 1.5 hours to get here. Fortunately, we car pooled (being the green conscious people we are) which allowed us to take the carpool lanes which cut our drive time to about 45 minutes. The LA Convention Center is next door to Staples Center, so if you’ve seen an LA Kings or LA Lakers game on TV and seen a shot of the city center area, that’s where we are. Early morning traffic on the street isn’t too bad, especially since we arrived at 8:30 for a 10am start time. Parking cost $15 which sadly feels reasonable compared to the $20-$30 we’ve paid for attending concerts and sporting events in the greater Los Angeles area.
We pre-registered for E3 but the system used is hardly up to par for what we see at CES in Las Vegas. After filling out the forms only a generic confirmation came in and after weeks of trying to email support we got nothing substantial either way confirming or denying our media credentials. After attending this event for nine years now, this is nothing new – I’ve always scrambled to get a last second credential. Sure enough showing up, our Associated Editor (Carl “Channer” Armstrong) was confirmed and just had to high five the nice lady handing out press passed for the show. Me? As owner and Executive Editor of the site I apparently never existed, nevermind I registered both Carl and I at the same time. Fortunately, our site passed whatever eye-spot vetting process is involved (took about 45 seconds) and both Carl and I were granted press passes, however, instead of something we wear on our neck, we got wristbands “because it’s the last day” making us both feel we’re headed into a nightclub rather than an industry event.
Waiting for the Show to Start
E3 wraps up today so the hours are from 10am to 5pm, the shortest of the three days of the show. It’s also the least attended so getting interviews today has worked out well in the past, even though many people are burned out from two days of the show, we don’t have to fight other media and random madness to corner people for a 10 minute interview. With 1.5 hours to spare, Carl and I headed into the Media Lounge, which is a big room with 10 round tables (fits 8), 20 leather couches (fits 60) and some bean bag chairs. There’s a water cooler, coffee area and a stack of show programs to keep us busy. Free WiFi also helps pass the time. Most of the media i here is keeping to their own groups and there’s more than a few folks in here napping unapologetically.
Show StartsWe get into the show and immediately head for the EA booth which is again front and center at E3. I head for NHL 13 while Carl heads for Madden 13. We get a solid four interviews from the EA booth for NHL 13, Madden 13, NCAA Football 13 and for Battlefield 3 Premium. Outside of almost being thrown out because we had wristsbands instead of “real” passes it was a good time. For the next few hours Carl and I split up trying to cover as much of the show as possible. A lot of people think we’re nuts but after so many years we have this puppy down. We rarely set appointments but always are able to get hands-on time with most games at the show plus talk to someone from the team on the floor for an interview.
While Carl was wrapping up BF3P, I checked out the new Star Trek game. Shown using the NVIDIA 3D technology we see that the game is a great adaptation of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek universe and that the game bridges the gap between the first movie from a few years ago and the one coming out next summer. I happen to meet a VP from Paramount Pictures (Brian Miller, super nice guy) who cuts us a killer interview.Ubisoft was definitely one of the big winners of the show. It seemed like they had a buzz around every title they were showing off and a lot of fans there were really eager to see Far Cry 3. Other notables included the usual Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo booths which were their typical monolithic beasts but honestly, not much buzz was coming out of there. Sony had a lot of cool games for fans to get some hands-on time with including God of War Ascension (look awesome), Sly Cooper (will make fans of the series happy), Counter-Strike Global Offensive (looked fun) and a ton of new Vita games coming soon. While I fully admit to never being a big fan of Nintendo, the Wii U looks … well like it should have come out the same time as the PS3. I have a strong suspicion once the next iterations of the PlayStation and Xbox come out we’ll be snickering.
Carl and I hooked back up for Trion worlds to talk about End of Nations, the upcoming MMORTS as well as Defiance. Both games looked amazing and we got demos, hands-on time and interviews for both. Trion’s Rift remains popular but these two games really cement Trion as maybe the best up-and-coming studio in the industry. While that’s definitely debatable, they’re a great group to meet up with.
The show goes by so quick, Carl and I didn’t get to eat or drink anything until we forced ourselves a 30-minute break at 2pm. We ate some of the best French fries either one of us had ever had from a food truck outside. 20 short minutes later, it was bad to the grind of the show.
We checked out the SOE, Majesco, WB booths and saw some neat stuff there we’ll cover over the course of June here at GI. We also checked out all the other major players at E3 and will be giving previews of games we checked out as well as interviews from people behind those games.
Wrapping UpOne thing that’s disappointing is that outside of the two main halls, there’s not much else from the standpoint of walking around and checking things out. The Indie Games section was woefully small and the days of the underground hall hosting tons of small companies including many hardware and peripheral manufactures is completely gone (hello, CES!). It was great to meet up with many of the PR folks I regularly communicate with as this becomes our yearly face-to-face gathering place to say hello to each other.
Next year, GI is definitely going to step up our E3 coverage … no matter where it’ll be. There’s a decent chance it won’t be in LA next year because the LA Convention Center will likely be undergoing a major renovation. We’re crossing our fingers for Vegas. Looking back at this year we got done what we wanted to accomplish – hands-on time with the big titles, get at least 20 interviews completed on the show floor, say hello to the nice PR folks we could, and finally, come up with a plan to cover E3 with 10+ people representing our site on the show floor.
For you the reader, definitely stay tuned to Gaming Illustrated in June as we’ll be releasing new content and previews daily as well as provide one-of-a-kind interviews that will exclusively be found only here.
tags: e3 , preview