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E3 Struggles To Stay Alive

Vivendi Universal and Activision, considered by many to be the top studios in the industry, announced yesterday that after careful consideration and “business reasons” the company will not be participating in E3 2008, which is set to be held July 15-17 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. In fact, Vivendi doesn’t plan to return to E3 for the foreseeable future. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), owners and operators of E3, have confirmed that Activision and Vivendi have opted all together to discontinue their membership with the organization.

"After careful consideration, Activision has decided not to renew its ESA membership for business reasons and will not be participating in any official E3 activities. We appreciate the work that the ESA has done over the years in promoting the interactive entertainment industry with state and federal governments and wish the ESA best of luck with the show," said Activision reps.

Another big loss for E3 will be Blizzard, who also confirmed that it will not be making an appearance anymore at E3 shows. Blizzard however, has its own popular convention called BlizzCon.

Earlier today NCSSoft and Her Interactive have been reported to follow the same lead as Vivendi and dropped out of the show. Contrary to earlier reports id Software has confirmed attendance at this year’s show.

The studios cite timing of development cycles and investor relations as the reasons for pulling out. However, there are rumors of displeasure with the president of ESA, Mike Gallagher and his poor handling of the association. Under former president, Doug Lowenstein, ESA was driven to be an activist for the gaming community with Lowenstein becoming a visible spokesman in congress.

While budgets for lobbying rose in 2007 under Gallagher, fewer issues were confronted by ESA. In March, ESA shut down its New York office, which was headed by Gail Markels, senior VP and general counsel. Markels led ESA’s charge against unconstitutional video game laws and succeeded.

E3 was previous held during the month of May, but in 2006 ESA announced the show would downsize and restructure to meet industry needs. The show was then moved to July and became invitation only.

It is interesting to note that NCsoft was fined by the ESA at E3 2006 for noise violations and had heated exchanges. “We’re not sure we’re on the same plane with this organization,” said vice president of strategic development Fred Schmidt, “I’m not sure we’re coming back here.”

The allure of E3 past is gone. Sadly.

  • StealthMonkey27
    Open E3 back up to the public!
    Reply
  • giovanni86
    E3 has been going down the drain. I can't wait for EA to pull out as well and all the other major companies. E3 in a few years then will be known as something that used to be great, until the ppl who ran it just don't like video games n promoting them with babes and customers in the mix. Screw E3. Its all about advertising and promoting the game as much as a company wants. Who cares E3 is nothing big no more to me. I rather have a company display a game on its own will to show it. The ppl behind E3 just don't appreciate what the gaming industry has evolved into. So screw them. Lets all hope that every developer/publisher pulls out of E3 so we don't have to care about it anymore. Then once no one is appearing E3 either vanishes or it comes back to be the way it used to be. Which was an amazing show.
    Reply
  • giovanni86
    E3 has been going down the drain. I can't wait for EA to pull out as well and all the other major companies. E3 in a few years then will be known as something that used to be great, until the ppl who ran it just don't like video games n promoting them with babes and customers in the mix. Screw E3. Its all about advertising and promoting the game as much as a company wants. Who cares E3 is nothing big no more to me. I rather have a company display a game on its own will to show it. The ppl behind E3 just don't appreciate what the gaming industry has evolved into. So screw them. Lets all hope that every developer/publisher pulls out of E3 so we don't have to care about it anymore. Then once no one is appearing E3 either vanishes or it comes back to be the way it used to be. Which was an amazing show.
    Reply
  • mr roboto
    I don't understand why these idiot suits downsized it in the first place. I mean they killed it, it's not as though people lost interest. Mismanagement indeed.
    Reply
  • Phu5ion
    I can understand the desire to remove a lot of the fluff that E3 had become known for. As much as I like the booth babes, the event had become a circus and it wasn't really about the games anymore.

    By making E3 an invite only affair, E3 is now redundant because we also have GDC which is also an experts only event.

    E3 should be open to the public, but make it about the games. I suggest limiting the booth sizes for event the bigger publishes so they are unable to have display the miscellaneous crap. But please keep the booth babes.
    Reply
  • ok
    Reply
  • Mr_Man
    I can understand getting rid of the booth babes... but not opening it to the public? What could be better for publishers than individuals going to E3, snapping pictures and video of promising titles, and blogging about it when they get home? This is mismanagement at its worst.
    Reply
  • .................not good idear
    Reply
  • cisco
    I say fire the President, and give E3 back to the people who buy the products in the first place.
    Reply
  • davidgbailey
    Sometimes the elites forget about the consumers. Then they realize they need them again when their business is failing. At this point I would boycott them even if they do realize the error of their ways and open it back up to the public. Allowing them to open it back up to the public and regain their past reputation says nothing for consumers. I hate it when companies screw consumers and get away with it. I hope they die. Be less forgiving to the corporate whore-mongers that screw you daily.
    Reply