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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Industry reflections on E3
E3 will me a more intimate event next year
Every year 60,000 people head to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. But the event is to be slimmed down in favour of a more "intimate" conference.

Games industry veterans give their impressions on E3, one of the great events in the gaming calendar.


For most people who end up working in the videogames industry, games are a personal passion as well as a career - and E3 is a glittering city of golden promise.

Every game fan dreams of taking a pilgrimage to the show at least once. I understand that sentiment - I felt the same way when I boarded a flight to LA to attend my first E3.

However, I've come to dread the annual trip - a feeling shared, I think, by many others.

Never mind the jet lag, the incredibly long hours, the awful food, the choking smog, ringing ears or aching feet - E3 has been a source of little but frustration for anyone trying to actually get work done.

The event was meant to be all about seeing new games, holding meetings and interviews, but it has been buried under a sea of noise, lights and hype.

With tens of thousands of visitors - few of whom are there to do anything other than gawp and collect freebies - and millions of pounds being spent on each extravagant stand, E3 was a terrible venue for showing off new software or carrying out meetings.

Even as a spectacle, it felt painfully pubescent; it was hard not to feel that E3 represented the growing pains of the youthful games industry, desperate to prove itself on the world stage.

We're past that stage now - games are an important part of our culture, and the end of the industry's biggest trade show is a sign not of crisis, but of maturity.


As an industry veteran I've attended every E3 ever. They were spectacular and never ceased to wow me with their huge impressive stands and massive crowds. Anyone who was in the industry had to attend!

It was perfect timing in the year to have most games and hardware announcements and was the place to showcase our industry to on lookers - most notably Hollywood.

Pretty much everyone from Hollywood paid a visit sooner or later, be they stars, writer, producers, directors or financiers, and they made their own opinion of the games industry from that visit and E3 always did the industry proud.

I never thought it would end, and I'm saddened to see such a highlight of the games industry disappear.


My worst, but somehow my best E3 experience was doing demos of Dungeon Keeper 2 on the show floor.

At first it seemed like an easy way to spend three days and started ad-libbing about the great features in the game.

Within a couple of hours, as the surrounding booths tried to better each other's sound levels, I realised it wasn't the walk in the park I first thought.

The questions about the game became predictable and I found it easier to drop the ad-libs and stick to a script, pausing for reactions as appropriate.

By day three, despite being exhausted through jet lag, partying and shouting over the noise, I had mastered the art of the demo. I was now a finely tuned robot who rolled out the same demo, word-for-word with glazed eyes and a thin veneer of enthusiasm.

While I waxed lyrical about the game, I was thinking about the new Mario, working out how I could get upgraded to business class and considering the finer points of my loft conversion.

It was about the hardest work I've ever done, and although subsequent E3 trips were spent in comfort, meeting with publishers, I'll always spare a thought for all the demo guys on the show floor.

Nintendo backs 'smaller E3 show'
02 Aug 06 |  Technology
E3 videogames showcase slims down
01 Aug 06 |  Technology
In pictures: E3 games exhibition
11 May 06 |  In Pictures

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