The E3 show floor this year will look different than in years past, as Electronic Arts, Activision, Disney, and Wargaming have decided they won’t have booth space. These are some of the biggest companies in gaming, but their lack of presence this year shouldn’t be seen as a death knell for the show overall, according to the ESA, the group that puts on E3.
The question, “Is E3 still relevant?” gets asked every year, ESA VP Rich Taylor told MCV. “And then gets answered in June of that same year with a resounding ‘yes,'” he said.
Taylor went on to describe E3 as “beyond relevant,” saying it is an “essential and critical” time for the videogame industry. The nature and makeup of the show changes and evolves over the years, but it remains the place to be in June.
“Last year if you asked most people, in the aftermath of E3 how they found it, many will tell you it was the best E3 they can remember,” he said. “But in the ramp up to that show, I was answering the same sort of questions.”
Taylor added that, after every E3 comes to a close, the ESA reaches out to as many participants as they can in an effort to gather feedback and adjust the following year’s show to make it better.
“We’ve done that this time, and we will be making adjustments to guarantee it is going to be a tremendous show.” he said. “There are a number of press briefings going on–a record number, I believe–that starts a few days before E3. That’s a reflection of the fact that people realize that this is the place to make news and break news, and have that amplified around the globe in a way like no other show can.”
So far, Electronic Arts and Bethesda have announced E3 2016 briefings; EA’s will take place the afternoon of June 12, with Bethesda’s coming that evening. If history holds, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Sony will follow with their own events on Monday, while Nintendo will hold its presentation on Tuesday of E3 week. Outside of those main briefings, a PC Gaming Show will return for its second year.
Unlike PAX or Comic-Con, E3 is not open to the public–unless your name is Kanye West. Some have suggested that letting consumers in might help boost the profile of the show. Taylor said he has heard this suggestion and explained that the ESA will be “taking a hard look” to see what can be done.
What are you hoping to see at E3 this year? Let us know in the comments below!