It’s E3 time again. What I generally consider to be the worst time of the year for gaming and gamers, edging out the November/December release season (which will be discussed another time) for the real lowlight.
Picture this. What if every upcoming television series and movie were announced at and had trailers at a single weeklong event full of underdressed women, breathless producers, crowds of journalists taking shaky-cam footage, speeches about how awesome the show was going to be, and so on? Of course, by the time the show actually airs, the cast may have changed a little, they’ve got a new director, a new writer, and the drama-thriller is now an action-adventure.
E3’s like that. For games.
In fact most of the games you are really looking forward to are probably delayed by 3-5 months for every E3 that takes place during their development. There’s real pressure to drop everything and get demos ready for E3. Sometimes that leads to chunks of work that have to be torn out again, or annoying bugs that have to be rooted out later on.
All too often the press chatter about a cobbled together demo leads to direction-changes in gameplay for a title that barely has any gameplay yet.
And space at E3 isn’t cheap either. Every dollar spent and every change and delay makes the finished product cost that little bit more (or if not more, leads to less QA being done on the title). In my personal opinion, E3 largely exists at the expense of the gamer.
As a writer, E3 is (sadly) part of my job.
Pro-tip: There are plenty of other ways to get your marketing and previews in front of the consumer – and E3 only gets it to the people who you could not keep it from anyway.
As a gamer, I’d much prefer to have little to do with E3. I’d much rather see the time and the money better spent: On the actual product.