E3: A first step for game consumers

Gamers play Destiny 2 at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, on June 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Caption
Gamers play Destiny 2 at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, on June 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

This year’s E3 is definitely one for the record books, but more with a whimper than a shout. The most important thing that happened at E3 2017 was opening the doors to consumers — the gamers that drive this industry forward. Though, from what I saw, most attendees were fulfilling a dream of going to E3 rather than partaking in a truly great consumer experience.

Most of the expo is still set up with industry professionals in mind, as most booths lacked enough kiosks for play and not enough space for the masses to move. Fans were cramped up against walls in makeshift lines. But that can change, and I think E3 can serve both the industry and the gamers who want to experience the most important show of the year. The Entertainment Software Association (the organization that runs E3) needs to add more order to the whole experience and find more ways to entertain through events like live gaming competitions, or simply more public-facing demos and experiences.

I think it is time for consumers to define the show, but I hope we don’t forget the business side of the convention in the process. The greatest thing E3 does is show the power and entertainment value of games. My biggest worry is as E3 transitions to serve so many different masters, it will lose focus on the games and entertainment of tomorrow that are what makes E3 so exciting.

I think Sony’s press conference is a great example of how you can be both informative and entertaining at the same time, by mixing talk and trailers framed by live music and visual effects. Some gamers might think it’s worthwhile to stand in line for 4 hours to play 15 minutes of Super Mario Odyssey, but the industry should find better ways to treat its most important resource: the people who actually buy games to play them. Let’s make the show a spectacle, both behind closed doors and on the show floor. Less expo and more performance art, so while you may have to wait in a four-hour line, there is more to do than just play Clash Royale on your phone.

Games are supposed to be fun, and its biggest show needs to follow suit and be more than just an expo. E3 needs to be entertaining, but focused on the games that are the star of the show.

Cheers,

Andy McNamara

———

Andy McNamara is editor-in-chief of Game Informer. For video game news and reviews, check out the latest issue of Game Informer or visit the magazine's website at gameinformer.com