One thing E3 has done for years is kicked off with the E3 Media briefings from the big companies. It used to involve an executive from the company in the spotlight telling us why we needed what they were showing us and why we should be excited. This year, for the most part, they went for the media showcase format instead. A sequence of back to back videos of the games you could expect to play in 2017 and beyond.
That begs the question, are E3 media briefings event relevant anymore in the world of instant access to news and digital media? From what we saw, there was nothing that was shown during the E3 2017 media briefings that couldn’t have been released as an official announcement online with videos. Some of the events like Bethesda’s seemed to spend more in the pre-show festivities than they had to share during the media event itself. Without big surprise announcements to share, these events just turn into the equivalent of watching a YouTube playlist with a group of friends and like-minded people.
Carrying out the events aren’t cheap for the companies either. they have to set up the venue and send a bunch of staff to the event which in itself costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages alone. So what is the benefit of holding these events just to tell us all what they could have done with a press announcement on their website and a YouTube video?
Well, bringing everyone’s focus to one place at the same time means the companies get more eyes on their offerings than they normally would and sites like ours cover the information coming out of the event. All of that is publicity for the games and hardware they might not necessarily see if they released the information separately.
We have seen comments from those that watched the events on both sides about the new format of the media events ranging from approval of the new format all the way through to disappointment.
Now we aren’t saying that E3 should necessarily return to being an industry only event, just that they don’t necessarily need to start with the E3 media briefings. Instead, let the information naturally release from the E3 show floor and with online releases of official information for those not in attendance. That way we all get the information we crave at less cost to the companies and less Internet meme fodder.
What are your thoughts? Do you prefer the showcase over the showmanship type of media briefings? Did you watch the briefings at all or just wait for the trailers to come out on video sites like youTube?