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What Purpose Does E3 Serve?

/ Jun 6th, 2017 No Comments

E3

When E3 began, there were no Nintendo Direct presentations or Twitch livestreams that video game publishers and developers could host. E3 was it. It was the Super Bowl of video games. Now that video game companies are presenting their games on their own platforms at different times of the year, it could seem like E3 has no purpose. Has the Super Bowl of gaming ran its course?

That seems to be something that the folks behind E3 are still trying to figure out. How do they keep E3 relevant in the games industry’s current climate? Well, if you think about the true purpose that E3 serves, the event is still quite relevant. Here’s why.

The Great Gathering of Gamers

One of the things that sets E3 apart from every other gaming show or convention is just how many companies and industry people show up to E3. Where else can Grant Kirkhope and Shigeru Miyamoto catch each other in the restroom just through happenstance?

The main halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center — which are open to the public this year — are impressive, but many people don’t realize how many meetings take place in the side halls and hidden sections of the convention center.
 

E3

Typical “doors open” at E3.

As the spectacle takes place in the main halls, industry insiders and select press gather in meeting rooms to show off games and chat with refreshments.

Additionally, the big three (Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation) fill their giant booths with third-party games and titles from indie developers. Along with the first-party games that are featured in the booths, the sheer amount of games that are at E3 is unbelievable.

Power to the People and Press

Spreading out information about gaming throughout the year is much more beneficial for companies and helps consumers wade through the information. However, there’s something magical about E3 and the massive info dump that takes place each year.
 

E3 2017

Pictured here: Me finally finding one of the many meeting rooms I’m scheduled to be at.

As the show floor opens at E3 — after all the press conferences have taken place — there is a certain energy that builds up. The momentum of E3 continues for months after it takes place. During E3, all eyes are on the gaming industry, and that is a great thing for video games.

Hilarity Heightens the Hype-Train

My favorite thing about E3 is the spectacle. It’s the one time out of the year that many game companies get to dress up and put on a show. E3 is full of optimism as each new IP is presented in a calculated way and every blockbuster sequel is unveiled in dramatic fashion. But in the same way the Oscars are as much about the bits as they are the awards, E3 is about the comedy and failure to launch.

Schadenfreude is very much apparent in E3 as fans love to watch a good bomb on stage. For every exciting new announcement, there is a “my body is ready.” These incidents have become as much a part of E3 as the games themselves.
 

E3

Just one small part of the amazing Nintendo booth for Breath of the Wild.

The booths also add to the spectacle. Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard booth was a scale model of the creepy manor from the game. Attendees were invited to explore the manor and be thoroughly scared while they got to try the game for the first time.

Meanwhile, Nintendo basically built an entire forest for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At these booths, playing games becomes an experience, not just a demo.

E3 Exponentally Explained

Despite some of the industry’s biggest players taking steps back from E3, the event is still the biggest one in gaming, and it still has a lot to offer.

With the doors opening to the public for the first time, the biggest video game show on Earth may just be finding its footing.
 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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