What you’ll want to know concerning the Digital Leisure Expo (E3)

What you need to know about the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

Spring rains are ending; the R practice tunnel is almost via with repairs (after being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy); and we’re nowhere close to Engadget HQ in downtown Manhattan. Alas, it is early summer time: time for the Digital Leisure Expo as soon as extra. The annual recreation business commerce occasion, generally known as “E3,” unofficially kicks off right now in Los Angeles. A quartet of press conferences begin at 9AM PT, with Microsoft and Sony bookending the day’s proceedings. However wait — what’s all of the fuss about? “What’s the deal with E3?” you say in your greatest Jerry Seinfeld voice.

Briefly, E3 is an enormous advertising occasion for the sport business. In actuality, E3 is far, rather more than that.


E3 — the so-referred to as Digital Leisure Expo — is a 3-day recreation business commerce present in Los Angeles, California. It attracts recreation makers, publishers, advertising and press all into the identical venue, the Los Angeles Conference Middle, for an annual advertising blitz aimed toward showcasing the approaching vacation’s huge video games. It is the place the CEOs, executives and recreation makers of Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and lots of others make grandiose stage shows saying new hardware and software program. It is the place recreation consoles are introduced, interviews happen and offers are brokered. It is the place Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime initially stated, “My physique is prepared,” and the place former PlayStation head Kaz Hirai stated, “Riiiiiiiidge Racerrrr!” It is the place the place many, many gaming memes originated.

To know the occasion extra clearly, you should first know that a super portion of the sport business’s cash is earned throughout vacation gross sales. What’s “super” on this case? Attempt over one-third in 2013 alone. “However final yr, proper across the holidays, each the Xbox One and PlayStation four launched!” you protest. Truthful level! In 2012, the quantity was even greater: Simply shy of forty % of the sport business’s cash was earned within the vacation season (Oct. 1st by way of Dec. thirty first). That is not an aberration; it is the usual.

As such, the sport business cares an terrible lot about making an enormous splash with vacation plans in… June. It’d sound early, however there are simply 4 months between June and October; for a lot of recreation publishers, it is the start of a ultimate advertising push earlier than a recreation’s huge vacation launch.

In fact, the world of video video games is extensive and different; a lot of what you learn above applies on to the biggies: Name of Obligation, Battlefield, Madden, Halo, and so on. Although smaller video games have a much bigger presence than ever at E3, it is nonetheless primarily a commerce occasion aimed toward showcasing blockbuster video games that value hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Although the present “formally” runs from Tuesday by means of Thursday of no matter week it falls on (the second week of June in recent times), the present actually begins on Monday. This yr, Microsoft’s beginning the present with a press briefing at 9AM PT, adopted by Digital Arts, then Ubisoft, then Sony within the night. Not one of the briefings are in the identical venue, they usually sometimes overlap. For those who have been standing outdoors of downtown LA’s Orpheum Theater, for example, round midday PT as we speak, you may discover an Engadget editor scurrying out forward of the presentation ending. They are not simply going to get extra espresso; they’re heading to the subsequent occasion to carry a spot in line. Such is the primary day of E3.

Within the case of us, we liveblog; we interview; we run from place to put whereas sharing our favourite Luigi dying stare GIFs alongside the best way. Heck, final yr we even did stay broadcasts earlier than and after the shows.

E3 goes “official” on Tuesday at midday PT because the doorways to West and South Corridor contained in the LACC open. Why midday? Properly, you is perhaps questioning why Nintendo’s press convention wasn’t talked about but. That is as a result of, as of final yr, Nintendo not holds a devoted press briefing occasion, as an alternative choosing a direct-to-shoppers video presentation forward of the present flooring’s midday opening (assume: Nintendo Direct). However the lengthy and brief is that this: Tuesday morning was Nintendo’s press convention, however not anymore. It is so simple as that.

When the doorways to every corridor do open, swathes of attendees flood in: Roughly 50,000 individuals stroll E3’s two monumental halls over the three days it exists annually.

What you need to know about the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)


Properly, for starters, as a result of video video games are rad, however you in all probability already know that. The precise causes you must care about E3 are far much less esoteric. Need to know what the subsequent main steps are from the megacorporations that make your favourite video games? E3 is the place to seek out out. How about by no means-earlier than-seen video games? E3 can also be nice for that. It is also, sometimes, a venue for brand spanking new hardware bulletins. Each Challenge Natal (which turned Kinect) and PlayStation Transfer have been E3 bulletins, as was Nintendo’s extremely in style 3DS handheld.

Briefly, whatever the advertising-pushed angle, and the spectacle of two sprawling conference halls filled with multi-million greenback cubicles erected for simply three days per yr, E3 is a massively necessary occasion for each the sport business and the individuals who maintain it.

Additionally, it is filled with hilarious memes.


And who would not?! Final yr, Sean Buckley wrote an extremely thorough historical past of E3 — in case you’re into studying extra about E3, that may be a should-learn. For the Nate Silvers within the crowd, the physique that runs E3 — the Leisure Software program Affiliation — releases an annual statistical research of gaming, together with E3 tendencies (PDF). And eventually, Polygon’s Chris Plante made a fairly hilarious video strolling by way of much more particulars about “America’s largest online game occasion” (he means E3).

[Image credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]

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