A Bunch of Random E3 Observations
It has been a couple of weeks since a hectic week in LA and even though it’s a bit late, the staff here have some observations from the show room floor. There are a few things to cover, so let’s dive right into this amazing list provided below by myself, Chandler Wood, Anthony Severino, and Dan O.
You Really Wore That!?
If there is one thing I took from E3 and really any past events, it’s that a lot of the games media dress like they just stepped out of mom’s basement and haven’t showered in days. Now I don’t dress amazing, but you could still find me in good jeans and a nice collared shirt. It amazes me that people in the industry and media continue to complain that no one takes them serious as an industry and then they proceed to show up in sandals and messed up hair. Come on guys, take some pride in your appearance and see how much it could change public perception of the industry as a whole. Don’t even get me started on the non-press that showed up and attended the show, I thought we were at a homeless convention a few times.
Booth Babes, Where Are You?
A noticeable absence to the show room floor this year were those scantly dressed, mountain range loving women that have showed up on many Top 10 lists over the year. And you know what, I think it’s a good thing to have less of these girls littered throughout the E3 floor because let’s face it, what do they really bring to the show? Yes they are pretty, but that is really where their value stops and their lack of presence actually left gamers to do stuff like play the games, instead of posing for those extremely odd pictures with a complete stranger. Tecmo Koei didn’t receive the memo on the babes however, as their booth was the spot to make women in the industry uncomfortable.
For those new to E3, this is not really an issue. However to someone like me who has made a few shows in my day, I started to notice something this year. Publisher’s booths and all those cool advertizing stations leading up to the entrance doors look vaguely familiar. In fact, most ad placements and whatnot were placed in the exact same spots as previous years, like the tank outside. Booths for the publishers also felt very similar to past years, with booths like Tecmo Koei, Square Enix, Natsume, and EA Sports to name a few looking like replica’s of years past. It’s not a major issue but something I felt I should share.
Screw The Show Floor, Meeting Rooms Are Stupid Good!
Sure the show floor at E3 is where all the Wow is for most people, with huge statues of game characters littered about and all kinds of colors in each direction. However, that is not where E3 really shines for me. In my opinion, I would rather have all my appointments at Private Meeting Rooms or behind Closed Doors. On the show floor, it is always a mess with tired and sometimes frazzled PR people, lots of non-media to walk around, and never the feeling of enough time to properly do what you need to do. In the private rooms however, it feels a lot more centralized on the media experience, with only appointments accepted and less people, meaning more access to developers and more time with each game. To me, all E3 appointments for media should be in these small private rooms and the show floor can be for the non-media to wait in lines and play the games. Mixing the two elements together often times leads to frustration for non-media who wait in line only to get passed by a horde of writers. It can also be frustrating for us journalists who sometimes can’t get enough one on one attention from developers who are looking extremely overwhelmed.
Lines, Security, and People, OH MY!
Yes it is a huge event and lines should be expected, but this year seemed to feel like there were even more people than before, with lines appearing on the side of crazy far more often than not. From the mouth of PSLS Great Anthony Severino, “Longer lines. More people than ever. Lots more security, like asking for ID and checking badges with a black light.” Adding to it is resident Andre the Giant, Dan Oravasaari, “The only thing that bothered me was the crowds, but those usually annoy me.” The security also felt a little less social than in years past, however I have yet to see someone get man-handled by security, but hopefully one day!
Merch Shop Cleaned Out!
From the scientist in search for a cure to Morning Wood, Chandler Wood: “I noticed that the merch shop was ransacked very quickly. If you get there on the last day, all the good stuff in any decent size is gone. Speaking of clothes, I noticed that the shirts devs had seemed to be an awful abundance of Larges and Extra Larges. I rarely got greeted with a medium (my preferred size) and instead have a bunch of lounging/pajama shirts now. I was satisfied with the graphic design of the shirts however. Rather than just being the logo for the game (boring), they were unique and interesting designs for the most part.”
What happens at E3, Gets Leaked Through Articles on PSLS
It is not an E3 Expo without something weird or funny happening with the PlayStation LifeStyle and Game Revolution crew. This year was of course no different, with some interesting things going down. On day 2 of this trip, Daniel Bischoff of Game Revolution fame, lost his debit card for a good few hours. We searched everywhere we could think of until yours truly told him to check with the food truck we visited. By some miracle, he had his receipt, called the food truck and found out they indeed had the debit card, which he picked up the next day. Nothing however tops Wednesday night, as PaulMichael had a few too many spirits in him and proceed to laugh hysterically like the Joker. I did not actually witness this as I was a tired little boy, but from what I hear it was kind of scary. And let’s not even mention the naked man that Bad Gamers talked about!
So Do We Exchange Cards Now?
The practice of exchanging business cards is actually pretty simple and straight forward, but it always seems to get a bit awkward. It is never as cool or slick as you see in movies, where the badass detective slips his cards into the hands of the eye witness who says she didn’t see anything. Chandler agrees with me here, stating: “It was never mutual, always one person offering first then the other awkwardly fumbling for their cards while an awkward silence or conversation ensues. It was interesting to me that the exchange felt so awkward when it is such a necessary part of the show for press and PR.”
Hello, Female Developers, Are you There?
This one is something that I really feel is plaguing our industry right now and with time will hopefully get fixed. I visited a lot of booths over my 3 days at E3 and I can honestly say I don’t think I saw a single developer that was female. Instead, all the girls there were with public relations, though that was also pretty heavily male. Now I am not saying there aren’t any ladies out there working on the development side, because I know there are. However at a big event like this, you didn’t see any. I would love to walk into a closed door showing of a game and find that the person presenting the game is a lady, just once!