It was early February.
I was having dinner with my wife, Lasagna i think it was. My daughter was playing with her food (as any 2 year old would!) After dinner i decided to hop on my desktop. I had yet to buy my wife a Valentines day gift and i only had a days to decide on what to get her. It was a long day at the office so i hadn’t really been online or had got caught up on the nerdy news or anything. I decided to head over to twitter and see what was trending at that moment.
Who knew that was going to be the moment one of my dreams had come true!
E3 has become very lenient over the last couple of years and i knew of a few people who had been able to attend on a media badge even though they where not in the business and they always came back with these amazing stories as if they had just come back from a brand new Disneyland. Don’t get me wrong i know what E3 is. Its a trade show. It was meant for companies to show off new hardware, new software and accessories. It was also a chance for people in the business to mingle and maybe see if they could work on a project together. E3 was never meant for the public.
That all changed.
I was never a convention person. Standing in long lines to play 5 or 10 minutes of a game never really got me. What i like the most is the feeling of being around a group of people that enjoy these weird worlds as much as you do! Having a conversation about the new Call of Duty with a total stranger to talking about which Final fantasy is the best! Seeing people passionate about this industry is what i love the most. So i was finally able to attend the biggest gaming convention for the first time. and my verdict: It was OK.
Let me go through the pro’s first.
The fact that you can rub elbows with developers, creators and studio heads is amazing. I think it benefits more the creators because it gives them feedback from an average consumer and that allows them to change things before they release their game. I think the enthusiasm consumers brought to these developers also helped them light up a new passion for the game they created. Even though there was a lot of people i felt that there was always something for you to do. Yes some booths had an outrages wait time of up to 5 hours! ( I’m looking at you Wolfenstein!) but there where other booths that where easily a 30 to an hour and sometimes less. I was able to get my hands on the following games:
- DragonBall FighterZ
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Sonic Mania
- Sonic Forces
- Splatoon 2
- South Park: The fractured but whole
And i attended the following Non- Playable games
- Days Gone
- Spider man
- Detroit: Become Human
- The Evil Within 2
- Shadow of War
Now for the Con’s.
I did not feel welcomed.
As i said before, E3 is still at heart a trade show. Consumers where given a yellow badge to easily distinguish from the white media badges. When you got to a booth and they saw that yellow badge I sometimes felt that i did not matter. I saw a lot of business people in suits trying to get to their appointments pushing through the crowds in frustration and they did not look very happy. Also Security was really disappointing. There was literally no bag checks of any kind and people would just walk in and out with big bags without knowing what was in them.
Being the first year open to the public i expected for it not to be perfect. ESA need to really take a look at PAX and even PSX to get an idea how to accommodate a large amount of consumers. By the time of this writing i have gotten confirmation that it will be open to the public in 2018 so unless they can change things it will be a bigger mess next year. In the end i had a great time and really look forward to going again next year!