E3 2017 was a dense forest of game trailers, announcements and live streams from the biggest names in gaming. It was also the first show where the ESA sold tickets directly to the public, changing the tone of the show floor and the event itself. Next year will likely change to an even greater degree as everyone involved, from the press to those who pay for booths, anticipate the crush of people and adjust plans accordingly.
That likely means fewer members of the press in general, and a more commercial show that caters to the fans more than the industry. That’s not a bad thing, but it does significantly change things.
This isn’t a suprise
The shows dedicated to each major publisher and platform holder — what used to be called press conferences — have already made the press’ presence redundant. Outside of hands-on events that sometimes follow the barrage of game trailers that now make up these shows, there is little reason for anyone who isn’t a fan or paid influencer to be there.
The news is broadcast live to the greater audience and, while the press is certainly happy to react to it and break down what it all means, being a body in the physical audience is now more of a hindrance than an advantage. The press conferences aren’t live shows anymore, and that makes things much easier for those organizing them.
“If you noticed, we had to put many of our games coming out this year in the pre-show lineup because we wanted to make the actual show one hour,” Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, explained during the show. “There were no technical issues that we needed to be worried about and there was no switching people, so we didn’t have rehearsal. We had just one run-through the night before. That was it.”
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