As E3 grows closer, excitement among gamers grows with it. Although as history has shown us, leaks and pre E3 announcements go hand in hand in the weeks leading up. Whether it be official or information slipped out the back door, the tone begins to be set on what we will see come June. Unfortunately the manner in which these reveals preface gamings main event could be slowly stripping away its luster. Don’t get me wrong, we all want to see the new and upcoming titles but at what cost? Are leaks forcing developers to officially announce games before they had planned? Is this in turn altering the conferences that are just a month or less away? This time of year is fueled by predictions, speculation and surprises for the gaming industry. But are gamers being robbed of the latter and even more so is our premier gaming event starting to lose its worth?
Over the last couple of years the E3 conferences have garnered lukewarm reactions from me and even feelings of disappointment. This has led me to wonder what is it that has caused such a turn around within me or the event itself that has caused such an illicit reaction. Finding myself in the minority of gamers as I cast a critical eye upon gamings holy grail in recent years, I search for reasoning. Apart from my own jadedness as a 30 year veteran of gaming I believe that there is a possible turning of the tides in the industry in relation to E3 and how announcements are made. Big name publishers are now bypassing the showroom floor and conducting their own events. And here recently leaks and early announcements are littering the news leading up to the showcase that should be unveiling the new AAA titles. Which in turn could possibly be altering the conference that we end up seeing for better or worse, my guess not being the former. That’s unfortunate for all parties involved. More so the developers in my honest opinion. Sure, we as consumers are being stripped the pure glee of a surprise announcement at one of the highlight conferences, but the developers and/or publishers are the ones taking the most damage. Their well prepared shows and plans are forced to default to plan B which get the job done but don’t blow anyone away. Leading to gamers like me writing articles like this. That being said, leaks cannot be stopped, the internet won’t let them so companies play the hand they’re dealt. But all in all leaks are a minor problem with E3 at the moment. Big name publishers are opting to step away from E3 more or less and hold their own events to cater to their audience and announce what they have in the works. This affects E3 on two different fronts. The first being monetary and the second involving content. It is no coincidence that this year E3 will be open to the public, allowing 15,000 showgoers to attend at $250 a ticket. The money lost from the absent publishers renting out floor space had to be recouped and this tactic will do for now. Although when it comes to addressing content at E3, whether you find it on the decline or rise the question has to be asked can the event stay relevant? To many that can seem like a ridiculous question as it such a staple in the industry and culture in general. Even I feel that way but I can’t be blinded to the way things are unfolding. The fact that Activision, EA and Nintendo aren’t on the showroom floor doesn’t make them any less a part of the festivities. Each respective conference is scheduled around the traditional E3 week just not working hand in hand. It’s when and if these companies opt to have their showcases away from the second week in June that consumers and showrunners alike should start raising an eyebrow. As big games get revealed outside of E3 such as Destiny 2 did recently with its own conference like showing the landscape of one singular main event may change. Instead of everyone getting together and exhibiting under one roof, throughout the year publishers and developers alike throw their own conferences. Even the major mainstays, Sony and Microsoft, have dipped their toes into holding events outside of E3. Eventually the thinning of the herd will bring reason to question if it is even viable any longer. Granted I am fully aware of the logistical sense it makes at the moment even with the major publishers not occupying floor space, and the grandeur of the week in general. But sometimes change is necessary, and with that the realization of how drastic of change will need to be taken. E3 is sacred ground but it is not immune to the fact everything loses its sheen eventually. Even so, I will be intently watching each conference with mustered excitement, hoping to be surprised. I guess somethings don’t change.