It’s coming. June 1st, 2009. Ready or not.
What is E3?
The acronym for the Electronic Entertainment Exposition. An industry trade show that is used to showcase video-games.
E3 was originally created to provide an environment where video-game publishers could exhibit their forthcoming wares to the distributors and retailers that made the purchasing decisions. This way, the retailers would be able to figure out what they should stock on their shelves.
Then the media got interested in the exhibition. Whether it was the games on display or the videos or the personalities or the keynotes: the media presence started to grow with each E3.
Each video-game console manufacturer had to have their own keynote to begin the exhibition. These keynotes were used by the console manufacturers to announce how intelligent their supporters were for supporting them.
Video-game developers would use the exhibition to network with their fellow professionals and see the games that the competition was providing. There might have been a crunch in getting the demos ready for the show floor, but many found the event to be relaxing and enjoyable.
Greed. Envy. Sex. Drugs. ROCK N’’ ROLL!
E3 had become an opalescent beast. It became more about pandering to the idiot attendees and the media than the retailers or the industry professionals. If a person had a website or worked as a store clerk they could get in. Attendance ballooned. It got very expensive for a publisher to get their message across.
E3 2006 was particularly disastrous. Rumors abound as to what exactly happened. The leading rumors put the onus on Sony [a video-game manufacturer] and Electronic Arts [a video-game publisher]. Both had spent a lot of money, but hadn’t been able to attract positive attention to their wares.
Someone had the misguided idea that the only segment that mattered was media. Select media. Threats were made to leave the trade organization that ran E3 if it didn’t scale down.
It scaled down, and became a hollow shell. Something was missing in E3 2007. There wasn’t much of an exhibition, it didn’t get any word-of-mouth coverage, and it was more expensive than past E3’s for many involved. E3 2008 was a little bigger, but still wasn’t what everyone involved hoped for.
Why is E3 2009 Special?
June 1st, 2009: the Exhibition is getting back together. Spectacle! Excitement! Private demos of games for invite-only media that will rave about it! Bright lights! Big city! Parties! Theatres with exclusive trailers being shown! Booth Babes! Websites reporting on Booth Babes! Booth Babe ranking contests on said websites! Celebrity sightings! Sunny Los Angeles! Free T-shirts and bags will logos on them! Exclamation points!!!!!!!11!!1!!1!!1!
Oh, and maybe there will be a few games. Although, the same games will likely be playable at PAX a few months later.
Fanboys are already getting out their tape measures in anticipation of the keynotes that begin the conference. A fanboy is a strange kind of Internet creature: they have purchased a device that can play video-games, but they don’t play any games on it. Instead, they flood the Internet forums and try their best to overreact to every piece of video-game news. Every objective news article is obviously biased against them. Anything short of exuding praise is an affront against the console that they happen to own. They eventually gravitate together and support each other with their trolling, insults, fallacies, and desperate search for articles that hurt the fanboys of rival consoles. Anything that helps reinforce that they made a good decision about their purchase and the size of their penis.
It’s unconfirmed if Kentia Hall will be brought back, though. In past E3’s [before the dark, dark days of the ‘media-only event’] smaller companies would flock to this hall with their duplication services, eccentric devices, distribution abilities, foreign developer relations, magazines to hand out, peripheral devices to show, video-game school recruiting, and Fatal1ty challenges. Basically, people that would have been better served by having a booth at the Game Developer Conference than the Electronic Entertainment Exposition. There weren’t many Booth Babes or spectacle in this densely-packed hall of despair and death.
And yet, Kentia Hall had a certain indelible charm…
Talks and Lectures
There doesn’t seem to be any mention of talks or lectures. They always seemed awkward at past E3’s due to the diverse attendee population.
They haven’t announced where the Nintendo butt-kissing line will start. It will be important to wait three [or more] hours in line for that privilege. Past E3’s this line was used to show off Zelda, Zelda, and the Wii [with Zelda on it!].
Are. Through. The. Roof. And the roof is on FIRE! Let it burn, let it burn!
Motion Sensing Rumors
There are three video-game manufacturers: Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.
Nintendo makes the Wii, a video-game console that uses a motion-sensing remote control as input. Both of the rival companies [Microsoft and Sony] are rumored to reveal their own motion-sensing controllers. Although, these same rumors were popular last year and failed to materialize.
In fact, Nintendo was so worried about Microsoft announcing a motion-sensing controller, that Nintendo fired off a press release before the Microsoft keynote. In it they announced an attachment that would make their Wii controler’s motion-sensing actually work correctly.
This move doubly backfired:
1. Microsoft did not make any related announcement that could be upstaged
2. Nintendo admitted that the motion-sensing in their controller didn’t really work that well.
The announced attachment, the Wii Motion Plus, is scheduled to come out after this forthcoming E3 – it’s possible Nintendo might try to announce it again…
Publisher Death Watch Betting Game
There are three less major video-game publishers at E3 2009 than there were at E3 2006. Not only does it make things more interesting, but it makes the ‘Publisher Death Watch Betting Game’ of previous E3’s much harder. The casualties were:
1. Eidos [Hitman, Tomb Raider] was bought by a UK developer, which renamed the combined entity back to Eidos, and then was recently acquired by Square Enix [Final Fantasy, other games like Final Fantasy].
2. Vivendi Universal [contained the Sierra and Blizzard studios] bought Activision [Call of Duty, Guitar Hero], merged it in, put Activision management in charge, and renamed the combined entity Activision Blizzard.
3. Midway [Mortal Kombat, Gauntlet] is in the middle of bankruptcy reorganizations of some sort. Isn’t on the current exhibitor list, either.
Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever was promised as the ultimate video-game. The follow-up to the widely popular video-game Duke Nukem 3D, DNF [as it was abbreviated] was originally unveiled at E3 1999. It had turned heads at a number of E3 appearances since then. After a few more E3 appearances, non-appearances, and many rumors it became the joke of the industry. Vaporware. Yet, there was always the hope. The hope, that with every E3, the developer would announce a holiday release.
The developer, 3D Realms just declared bankruptcy this past week.
E3 might be back, but, without Duke Nukem Forever, does it even matter?