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Ignore the Detractors: E3 is Still Relevant

There was a time when E3 was undeniably the most important event in the gaming calender. It was the source of the biggest software announcements and the go to destination for platform holders looking to reveal new hardware.

Yet as the games industry has evolved and adapted there have been many who have questioned the annual event’s relevance.  The ESA, the organisation which organises E3 every year, has hit back at such claims informing British industry website MCV that:

“There isn’t a better amplify for new games than E3. What happens in LA will be heard around the globe and echo around for the months to follow.”

Rich Taylor, the ESA’s Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs said “I disagree with broad declarations that a show which hasn’t occurred yet is irrelevant.

Folks haven’t even seen  what’s going to take place. The fact that Zynga and GREE are going to be there is reflective of a show that is very much relevant. These  firms are talking specifically about mobile and social,” he added.

“There isn’t a better amplify for new games than E3. What happens in LA will be heard around the globe and echo around for the months to follow,” he adds.

“If E3 was losing relevancy” Taylor continues “we’d be having a fire sale on exhibit space, but it is the opposite, we are packed to the gills. I think it’s going to be one of the strongest shows we’ve had in a long time.”

Perhaps indicative of big things he concludes “the industry will change and we will change with it.”

That could mean revolutionary new games, new consoles, or it could simply be corporate forcefulness.

Yet even if there are no shocks and no new hardware revealed at the various press conferences E3 remains a pivotal even in the industry. I would pesonally prefer that major titles were reserved for E3 reveals, it would provide more impact to have a host of games shown off at once, but the numbers watching online increased substantially last year with those viewing the conference on Gamespot up by 300% over 2010.

“E3 remains the highlight of the gaming calendar, for both our users and our commercial partners,” the site commented in a press release. That doesn’t seem like an even that’s losing relevance.

Even non-gaming media often provide coverage of the event – with or without reporters on the ground – E3 does offer some cringe-worthy moments and while the VGA’s, in particular, have taken away many of the big announcements (Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, The Last of Us (which was originally intended as an E3 reveal) and so on) the buzz that is generated by the event which usually take place in Los Angeles – E3 was held in Atlanta in 1997 as well as the following year – is unmatched by anything else in the gaming calender.

The focus of E3, regardless of the presence of Zynga, remains retail at a time when the industry is irrevocably moving to digital and streaming options. There are rumours that Sony will announce a partnership with Gaikai or OnLive, as well as speculation surrounding PS4 and Xbox 720 reveals.

Even if you’re not blown away by anything the exhibitors show off this year there are some sure to be spectacular games coming this year and next and they’ll be under the spotlight at E3 like nowhere else. There’s also a little something called the Wii U.

Leviathyn will be covering E3 so stay tuned because it is still relevant to the industry, to retailers, and most importantly to gamers.