Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
By Geoff Greenblatt, Annie Semerdjian, Eric Bee, Neil Carty
Founded in 1995, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) now attracts over 45K attendees during its annual gathering in Los Angeles. The event serves as a platform for all gaming-related companies to make their big reveals for the upcoming year, acting as an upfront of sorts to drive industry and consumer excitement. With news that will impact anyone and everyone even remotely associated with gaming either by business or interest, E3 is the most anticipated gaming event of the yearDetails
While E3 is normally reserved for big console-based news, this year was a bit of a question mark. Earlier gaming-related expos in 2012 hinted that mobile, social, and perhaps even casual gaming could make more of a showing than in the past, while in the far corners of the online gossip rooms, some questioned if this would be the year that Xbox and Sony revealed next-gen machines. EA, Sony, and Ubisoft all held press conferences to unveil expected sequels and premium services, while Nintendo showed more of the WiiU for the second year in a row. Microsoft impressed with its SmartGlass mobile experience extension, Activision hinted at what it may be eyeing beyond Call of Duty
, and RockStar decided that it would skip out on E3 altogether.
Overall, the news seemed pretty basic on the surface…
- Sequel status for Dead Space, Medal of Honor, Halo, Crysis, and Assassins Creed and additional titles for franchises such as God of War and Little Big Planet.
- New games such as The Last of Us and WatchDogs are now some of the most anticipated titles of the year because they are just that…new.
- New premium services and content for games such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: Old Republic.
- EA’s continued leadership in the social space, extending franchises like Madden, Need For Speed, and Fifa with social clubs online on every platform and bringing old franchises like Sim City to life again with a social platform release.
- Activision teasing at a console version of Angry Birds, and post-E3, it was announced that Zynga entered into a partnership with Viacom to bring Draw Something to TV as a game show.
- Nintendo’s interest in making gaming more social through the use of the Wii-U and its featured games such as NintendoLand, its all-new interactive storefront, and its virtual world MiiVerse (which will be the system’s opening environment), while also aiming to appeal to adult players with games such as Batman, Mass Effect, Mario, and Ninja Gaiden.
- Microsoft’s SmartGlass, a free-to-download app that will live across all operating systems on all mobile devices, allowing entertainment lovers to extend their experience with games, movies, tv shows, music, and more onto a second screen in a cohesive, informative, non-interruptive manner.
…but looking deeper, we are seeing some pretty significant and exciting shifts in the landscape, with hints of what lies ahead.
- Consumers will be getting more of the characters that they love, but the most excitement came from entirely new franchises. Players want to be wowed by new experiences.
- Life expectancies of games are continuing to become longer, and we will continue to see this is every way, shape, and form.
- Studios are getting a handle on how to use social platforms to benefit the playing experience as a single experience that is extended rather than a rehash on multiple platforms that cheapens it.
- Mobile is becoming a platform that launches multi-platform franchises with multiple entertainment touchponts.
- The next generation may very well be social-based worlds, with storefronts, that players will use as a home base to play games of all types and have the option of using a second screen to do so. IE, the WiiU.
- We are now getting our first look as to how the second screen (mobile devices) can be used to enhance entertainment experiences, and the possibilities are endless and endlessly exciting.
- And lastly, while casual, mobile, and social games were not necessarily on the floor, there is a clear meshing of all of the platforms as they continue to use each other to evolve.
We have seen the current generation of consoles morph into entertainment machines that include body movement and voice recognition controls, and now, the use of additional screens is taking the experience off the screen. Furthermore, people can take their entertainment experiences with them on the go with mobile and social platforms, but the experiences are unique to the platform itself.
As a result, the quality of games on every platform – console, casual, mobile, and social – just continues to improve, while the need to extend the lifetime of games through new content just continues to grow.
We are seeing some incredible things in the gaming space. Sit back, marvel at it all, and get excited. You should be.