Why E3 sucks
Tom Chick on The Firing Line:
Au revoir, mon E3...and good riddance
Welcome to The Firing Line, where we're kind of hoping you don't really know who William F. Buckley Jr. is. If you didn't get that, all the better.
E3 is over and I have a suggestion: let's not have it anymore. Let's just go back to the old way of announcing and previewing games. You people who are making games, how about you go back to spreading out the press coverage rather than squatting on the important stuff until May and then spitting it out in one huge loud colorful projectile vomited torrential splatter?
I know why we have it. We want to be an event driven industry, just like movies. We want our premieres and celebrities and our big budget blockbusters. So we have E3 every year, with impossibly huge banners and those billboard trucks circling the LA Convention Center like remoras and busty girls in stupid costumes pretending to be interested in the whole thing so you'll take a flyer.
But the presentation of the actual games caters to the sort of superficial previews that are little more than ads. E3 is uniquely suited to showing off cool scripted sequences in first person shooters, elaborate character creation schemes in massively multiplayer online games, and not much else. It's a confused collection of dog and smoke and pony and mirror shows that amounts to a whole lot of nothing substantial. I've been to every E3 but one (that's the year I was busying answering email to explain why I didn't like Deus Ex), and although the names of the games change, everything else is the same.
Here's a shaggy headed kid showing up for his appointment with a Konami man-purse, made of faux worn canvas, and a fancy denim jacket with the EA Games logo stitched tastefully over his heart. He's holding a little digital voice recorder that he got from a Microsoft event that he's not even bothering to turn on. "Oh, man, I'm so hung over. I was at the Sony party last night until 4am sucking down free vodka and then I had to get up at eight to get over here from the hotel. Okay, I have to be at the Activision booth in fifteen minutes, so show me what you got real quick. How many levels does it have? Twelve. Multiplayer support? Check. Let's see your water effects. Cool. PC and Xbox, you say? All right, we're good to go."