There’s been a trend when it comes to E3 during the past years: More and more game announcements are leaked days or even weeks before the actual show is happening. For this year’s E3, several games have been leaked already: A new version of Skyrim is coming, Watchdogs 2 was leaked via ads on Twitch, Injustice 2 has already a promoposter up and The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2 seem to be pretty much confirmed too. Oh, and apparently we’re getting a new Dead Rising! Now, while all these leaks are quite exciting, I wonder if they represent a good or bad thing for the show?
The anticipation for the latest E3 news is always really high, so the gut reaction is, that these leaks are a bad thing for the industry. Companies try to have a big press conference where they can drop all their huge news in one fell swoop, while having all the attention they could ever want. On the other hand, it has become quite noticable how some companies have reduced their presence at the show. While Nintendo still has a huge booth, they won’t be holding a press conference. Even last year they only did a Nintendo Direct instead, which netted them a lot of attention, without having a normal press conference. Rockstar has always ignored the show alltogether. And a lot of companies make their announcements before the show starts. Sony adopted revealing their VR-Set with their own event. All signs considered, E3 isn’t as important as it was ten years ago.
This change is also due to the fact how the internet and news outlets have evolved over time. Having a huge show where everyone gets together in order to present their latest products was the way to go back when not everyone had access to the internet. But now you get 24/7 news pretty much everywhere and it’s become somewhat unnecessary.
However, I still dig the ‘videogame christmas’ vibe the whole event gives off. The entire show with all the playable versions on the show floor give journalists so many possibilities to really cover games extensively. Unfortunately, that also means that a lot of smaller games get overlooked, which is always sad. There’s just so much going on in the industry that you can’t possibly track everything that’s going on. Which is why I also say that E3 as a big show that has it all probably can’t exist anymore.
So it makes sense if some news and announcements are made before E3 proper. Overall, that shouldn’t really hurt the show, since it’s still a place where everyone comes together. It’s just not the only place and time anymore to make announcements. And that’s fine by me. Even if leaks spoil the fun a bit, seeing is still believing. So not matter how many games are leaked in advance, I’m still going to watch the press conferences.