Wargaming is a developer behind a number of digital-only titles like World of Tanks. A spokesman for the company explained that, “from a strictly business perspective, E3 just doesn’t fit our current direction. It’s a show that is very centralized on retail product, and as a free-to-play digital download gaming company, we’ve realized that while the show may be a good fit for lots of other publishers and developers, it’s currently not a great fit for us.”
Disney on the other hand has stated that instead of their Disney booths, they will be performing other “direct to fan” events throughout the summer.
Does this mean E3 is in trouble? Probably not. E3 consistently draws more than 50,000 people to its show floor. Even more impressive it its presence online. With billions of viewers tuning in worldwide, companies are just realizing they don’t need to spend all that money on a booth. Instead, they can put that money towards an online presence during one of the many presentations.
Senior vice president of communication at the Entertainment Software Association, Rich Taylor, had much to say on the matter.
“Individual companies will make their own decisions in each iteration of E3,” he says. “Overall, E3 for the past several years as been among the best shows we have ever experienced. E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It’s still the place to be. We have a record number of press briefings this year in the ramp to opening the show. That’s an indicator that folks recognize how valuable a launch pad it is. Being a part of E3 adds rocket fuel to the attention and eyeballs and interest and visibility of new titles and hardware and innovations that our industry produces each and every year. E3 is a strong, critical, and integral part of our video game ecosystem.”
Many have criticized that E3 is growing too expensive for any real presence on the show floor. Often these booths can cost millions of dollars. While people have suggested that E3 should become public much like Gamescom or PAX. We will have to wait to see what sort of impact Wargaming and Disney booths’ absence causes. Hopefully we can see some change pretty soon.