For 10 years of my life, I was an avid subscriber to the late, great magazine Nintendo Power. I would be excited every month when I got to catch up on my favorite consoles, games, and installments. But there was an issue every year that always stood out — the publication’s coverage of E3.
Now for those of you who don’t know, E3 — or the Electronic Entertainment Expo — is an annual fair sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and it begins today. The Expo has been the premier place for companies to show off all their new games, systems, and merchandise. E3 has been around since 1995, and in its glory days, it was like watching Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Big consoles made all of their debuts there, there were wicked displays by companies that went all-out, and the place was just magical. I personally never got to go, but just watching live coverage was enough. E3 was a regular gamer’s dream, and this year the event will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 10–12. But I can’t tell if I should be excited or not.
Lately it seems that the expo is fading into the background, just like Nintendo Power (I still own a copy of volume 282), and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Several game developers are saying “good riddance,” while others like to make the case that the event still brings gamers and developers together, and therefore is important. But for me, I’m busy asking what the point of E3 still is? When it comes to funding, a lot of indie gamers can’t afford to show off their stuff, while some of the larger developers aren’t using the expo to make those grandiose statements, opting to do it beforehand and not dropping too much cash. And because of this, I feel like surprises are now few and far between.
But speaking of dropping cash, what’s the point of a normal gamer to go to E3? As time goes on, the place only seems to have become a swirling carnival of demos among professionals swapping of business cards, and regular gamers are just paying way too much money to get swept away by the tide.
But the 12 year-old inside still says I’m wrong, still says that the coverage is totally worth it, and still says that Nintendo’s new Zelda WiiU game they’ll be premiering is totally drool-worthy. But how do you guys feel about E3 — is it still worth getting excited about? Do you find yourself following all the coverage, or are you burnt out?