Episode 492 - The Death of E3 Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

This week we're serving up a heaping scoop of everyone's favorite summer snack, podcast-cream! Ren and Cado have been deep in the food-court automation mines in Last Call BBS, the final game from Zachtronics, which is an excellent tribute to a specific age of computing and trying to pass on the nostalgia you feel for that time to a person who might've never experienced it. But first, we discuss the resurrection of E3 and what a Reed Pop owned show might look like. Then Patrick takes us on his unexpected journey into the world of online claw machines.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/episode-492-the-death-of-e3-has-been-greatly-exaggerated

Is it GamesCom or TGS that has the “X days for press, Y days for public” system? Because I feel like if E3’s still going to be a thing (a lot of people have said E3’s important because it’s a valuable business-doing opportunity with the entire industry in one place, which seems logical) that’s going to involve the public, you need space for people to Do Business but you also need space for a Gaming Convention.

I’m also not totally sure about the value of letting the general public into E3 in the first place. Lots of demos are stitched together with duct tape and bubblegum - just enough to get you from point A to point B. Part of the reason the pilots are so good at the demos is that they have to run them over and over to make sure they don’t hit any known breakpoints. Most enthusiast press people know this and have experience playing early builds of things. I imagine the sort of audience that would be enfranchised enough to attend E3 in person would probably be aware of this, but I can just as easily imagine some YouTube clown busting out a GoPro and being like “THIS GAME ISN’T DONE” or whatever.

So you’d need to take an extra pile of people off the main game to make sure your demo holds up to public scrutiny, and you’d need the extra hardware to make sure you don’t have an eight-hour line for your eight-minute Assassin’s Creed demo. Are publishers really going to want to incur that expense?

If you tried for a ComicCon-style approach where you have different large rooms in which people could give Todd Howard-style longform demos, you might solve some of the “public-facing demo” problem, but what about the people at home? Part of the joy of E3 is being able to experience that sort of thing without needing to leave my apartment. Is $300 for a weekend pass (this is just an arbitary figure) worth it to hear somebody talk about Fable in person when I’m paying $0 to hear about it at home? Do you stick this stuff behind a paywall? What does that mean for coverage from folks with streams like Giant Bomb?

If someone cracks this and it winds up working out just fine, I’d love to attend E3 (Covid-permitting, of course). I’m just not sure how you turn E3 into a public-facing show without somebody getting the short end of the stick.

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I’ve spent thirty years at war with various prize-grabbers and I don’t want to know how bad my self-control will fail when I have kids and they want a Mudkip plushh and I badly want them to have it too.

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I feel like Patrick’s phone shenanigans with his kid is very inoffensive compared to the odd Vice / WP paid freelancer “exploitative game good actually” articles, which while the Cox piece was only cross shared without staff supervision (allegedly?), does reflect poorly on the site.