Quotes of the Moment – Super-sized “Death of E3? Edition

By Monday, news of the new, downscaled E3 was official, but the reaction was just beginning. Here are some quotes that capture the general consensus regarding the press and E3:

Effectiveness/Necessity of the Old Show

“So, If you were starting an industry right now, and one of the things you needed to do was to find a way that you can get your stuff in front of the press in a way that’s really effective, you wouldn’t create E3.”

-ESA President Doug Lowenstein in an interview with GameSpot

“It will be done in a setting much more business-like, much more intimate and much less harried. We found that what works best at E3 was what was behind closed doors. That means the show floor pretty much ends.”

-ESA President Doug Lowenstein in an interview with The Rocky Mountain News

“Most of the people who actually show up to work the show, can’t do their jobs because there’s just too much to cover.”

-Brian Crecente, on Kotaku

“The need to go to Los Angeles to look at a game is somewhat negated when you can download a movie, or play a demo on Xbox Live.”

-Colin Campbell, discussing how the Internet helped kill E3 on Next Gen

“Can a game like Condemned be scary when the audio can’t be heard and it’s difficult to see what’s happening on the screen? Try to imagine Hollywood taking the same approach. What would happen if Tinseltown’s biggest studios gathered sneak peeks of their upcoming movies and showed snippets of each under laser light shows and blaring music?”

-Matt Casmassina, on IGN

“I don’t know whether to be shocked or relieved — it’s no secret that many game editors detest E3. Why? Because it’s so loud, garish, and overwhelming that it’s hard to even hold a decent conversation with anybody. I see this is a positive step. Publishers will benefit because fewer games will get lost in the shuffle. Editors will win because they’ll have more opportunities to cover more games without all the traditional E3 distractions.”

-ViciousSid at GamePro

Mainstream Coverage

“But newspapers and mainstream magazines will be left out in the cold if this goes through. I know my newspaper, and most newspapers are like this, will never pay for multiple trips to cover the industry. And the Rocky’s ethics policy, and again this is the same with most newspapers, won’t allow free trips. The last thing this industry needs right now is a move that will isolate it from mainstream coverage.”

-Brian Crecente, on Kotaku

“These days, games are a major entertainment for people of most ages. News editors can’t afford to just cover games during E3, or with a pre-Holidays buyers’ guide. Games are always on the radar.”

-Colin Campbell, on Next Gen

“I think the biggest loser is the ‘universal awareness of the games biz’ in the sense that there’s no longer a single event for the mainstream press to wrap their head around. It was sort of like an annual holiday where the “Live at Five” anchor-bots talked about the game industry for five minutes. I always thought that was good for a laugh.”

-Irrational Games’ Ken Levine, in a quote compiled by GameSpot

“If you watch the 11 o’clock news during E3, they don’t show anything. The news is “The video game industry has its annual trade event,” and they show these guys walking around dressed as Spock or whatever. I guess that makes the public is aware that there’s an event, but it doesn’t make anybody go buy a game.”

-Industry Analyst Michael Pachter, in a quote compiled by GameSpot

Access

“It will be primarily media, but there’s no list of people that’s been developed. It will be driven by the companies that are part of the event and the people that they feel are important for them to reach to get their messages out. I think time will tell as we get closer to the event and companies focus a little bit more on the people they feel are most important for them to interact with in that setting.”

-ESA President Doug Lowenstein on who will be invited to the new show, in an interview with IGN

“What does this mean for gameblogs like Kotaku and Joystiq? If publishers and platform manufacturers don’t like the site’s messages will they be excluded? The slope here is as slippery as its ever been.”

-Luke Smith, on 1up

“Publishers will no longer have to rely on the ESA to determine who’s legitimate and who isn’t; they can simply invite the media they value to their respective events and they can likewise provide a controlled and optimal atmosphere in which they can present their software.”

-Matt Casamassina puts a slightly positive spin on the limited access on IGN

“I suppose if I was a teenager with a fan site I’d be a little miffed that one of the only (if not the only) oppportunities I had in any given year to preview early games was taken away, but who is to say they couldn’t swing some access to the new, more “intimate” E3? Times change. Adapt!”

-Chris Kohler on Game|Life

“I don’t think many outlets (particularly independent ones) could get away with what Dan Shoe did and retain their access. They may still invite me because I’m a world-class fucking raconteur, but it is dangerous in the extreme to let us see your stuff before you have crossed the Ts. They would, no doubt, like access to you, but knowing they must traverse our savage gauntlet of two-dollar words and pointed .jpegs may give them pause.”

-Tycho at Penny Arcade

Other

“As described, the new ‘targeted’ version of E3 will cater even more aggressively to the gaming press. This is a problem, because gamer magazines and websites are notoriously uncritical of the industry’s offerings, dependent as they are on advertising from the major publishers, and a readership comprised almost exclusively of young male fanboys. This suggests future E3s will be overloaded with even more coverage skewed toward the top publishers and their big-budget action/sports titles– and even scanter attention paid to games that might appeal to women, kids, and older gamers. If this happens, the new E3 will continue to under-recognize and underserve whole markets.”

-Wagner James Au, on GigaOM

“The last few years E3 was a circus, not a gaming show. I’m all for downsizing for better media coverage, less sideshow freaks.”

-25% of Gamespot poll respondents. 45% said “E3 without flashy lights, loud noise, and cosplay babes? No sir, I don’t like it!”

“Although I am generally tickled that E3 will not be back in its current format, one thing makes me sad, indeed. This likely spells the end of E3 Babes.”

-IGN’s Chris Carle gets his priorities straight

“This is really bad news for serious journalists like us! WTF?”

-Some whiny kid in an Atari shirt in a hillarious Game|Life cartoon

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