Regardless of tweet impressions, article hits about news from the event, and number of attendees, the general consensus surrounding E3 the past few years has been that it's becoming irrelevant. Now compare this to San Diego Comic-Con, where it only seems to be bigger and better than ever with fans eagerly awaiting to see what's announced. Not to say that people don't look forward to E3 announcements, but conversations related to E3 certainly sound dourer than Comic Con.
There's no shortage of anger, disappointment, or downright apathy on the internet.
So why does Comic Con continue to be praised while E3 gets the short end of the stick? Both saw heavy hitters pull out of their shows this year — DC at Comic Con, Sony at E3. DC's absence didn't seem to make much of a wave during the event itself, while Sony's absence was greatly felt. Sure, it's the end of a console cycle and E3 2019 was largely underwhelming anyway, but that doesn't justify the doom and gloom perception. From the way people discuss E3 on social media, you'd think it's dying.
I don't have the answer to this. I'm more interested in hearing from you why you believe this is the case. Do you not look forward to E3 announcements at the end of a console generation? Is E3 just packed with too many announcements? Do you think hardware companies should just hold their own separate shows like PSX? Nintendo has seen success with its Nintendo Direct livestreams throughout the year — so much so that fans constantly await the next one — so at least one company found its groove. But E3 was finally opened to the public a couple of years ago, so if anything the event gives players a chance to demo these games for themselves. You don't tend see these same cynical conversations around Gamescom, which is arguably the next biggest event after E3.
But Comic Con is just as packed — if not more so — with announcements. What makes it different for the film and television industry than E3 for the games industry? My biggest theory is that the gaming community mistrusts developers too much. We'll see an amazing game, but what if it's delayed? Cancelled? Maybe we'll get a tone piece trailer that doesn't even show gameplay. How do we know what to expect? The film and television industry doesn't have this problem because its medium generally isn't interactive by nature. You just sit and watch it. You can hype yourselves up for the actors being cast and your eventual viewing, but that's about it. When it comes to games, people want to know how well the finished product will look, how it will play. And that's not even to mention the amount of changes that can happen during development that go against player expectations.
Or maybe it's only a matter of time before this dark cloud of pessimism reaches Comic Con as well. There's no shortage of anger, disappointment, or downright apathy on the internet. It's not healthy, and I don't think the discourse can sustain itself. Something's got to give.
I would be shocked if Sony didn't show up to E3 next year with the PlayStation 5 expected to be revealed in 2020. While the company will likely hold its own reveal event for the console, I can't imagine it not making an appearance at E3 2020 afterward. Sony just announced that it had shipped 100 million PlayStation 4 consoles, reaching the milestone faster than even the incredibly popular PlayStation 2, which still retains the crown as best-selling console of all time.
The console market is looking healthier than ever. Hopefully, E3 — or at least its perception — can ride some of that wave for the foreseeable future like Comic Con continues to do. So long as it doesn't continue to break the trust of its attendees, and even if that means completely ripping it away from the hands of the ESA entirely.
Or maybe it would be better for everyone if it faded into obscurity.
None of this is a defense of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) or E3, however, when it becomes negligent in handling sensitive information. It's come to light recently that the ESA, the organization behind E3, leaked personal information of over 2,000 journalists, analysts, and YouTubers who attended E3 with a press badge, and issued a woefully shameful and inadequate apology. This information includes names, phone numbers, and addresses which it had collected in order to hand out to its member companies. We encourage anyone who may be affected by this irresponsible data breach to take any necessary precautions.
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