E3 shakeup heats up

Well, it’s official. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced E3 will evolve next year into a more intimate, less glamorous affair.

Full details will revealed in the months ahead, but it’s clear publishers are fed up with spending massive dollars to both one up each other and get playable versions of games out a half year or more than they’re due in stores. Both of these concerns are being addressed head-on, starting by shrinking the attendance down from 40,000 plus rabid fans with a smattering of industry professionals and media to under 10,000 more relevant attendees.

Press, retails and fanboys already holding reservations for next May will need to change their plans as the Expo will shift back to July, giving developers more time to polish product before releasing it to the world. This extended window should help avoid any more “Superman Returns” debacles in the future.

Los Angeles will remain the host city but the Convention Center’s expansive arena is no longer required. Game demonstrations will be performed on a more intimate stage that’s yet to be defined.

It’s clear the gaming industry has grown exponentially since the first E3 twelve years ago, and these changes mark a logical evolution in the show’s life. Without having to battle through stockers and fanboys with no businses clogging up demo units and floorspace, the media will have cleaner, less obstructed access to games which will in turn transmit more information back to you. We, as the media, will actually be able to hear what developers are saying and have the opportunity to properly report back on a game’s audio prowess – an ttribute TMR finds especially important to a high definition game’s overall impact.

In this new age where next-gen games like “Halo 3” and “Grand Theft Auto IV” take on budgets approaching those of Hollywood films, any savings to publishers will be reflected directly back to us into both the quality and price of the final product. You want these changes. You need these changes. And come next July, you’ll thank these changes.

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