Every year in June, it’s Christmas all over again for gamers. Why? Because of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. E3 is considered to be one of the most important trade fairs for video and computer games in the world and for a long time the most visited. If you want to fill your gaming wish list you’ve come to the right place: E3 offers new game announcements and releases in abundance. And with the glitzy press conferences of the big publishers, there is always something to marvel at.
The Ranieri Gaming team also didn’t miss out on visiting E3 2019, taking the time to meet with clients, journalists, creators and other industry contacts. And of course to take a closer look at the long-awaited announcements from developers and publishers.
These are the highlights that we particularly liked:
- Is that Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077? It’s Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077! We saw “Everybody’s Darling” at the Microsoft conference: Reeves was ‘breathtaking’ and took everyone by surprise!
- The new Microsoft console with the project name Xbox Scarlett supports 8k resolution and is scheduled to be released in fall 2020. We’re looking forward to it and are curious to see how Sony will respond.
- Nintendo surprised us all with a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- The PC Gaming Show featured a variety of great upcoming indie games and we think it’s the perfect platform for smaller developers to get the visibility they deserve.
- The Borderlands 3 E3 booth was a sensory feast for the soul in the middle of the large exhibitor hall.
- Older brands are booming and are triggering a hype among new and old fans after various announcements: The remake of Final Fantasy VII got a release date and Wasteland 3 will be see the light of day at the beginning of 2020. We also got to see some first gameplay scenes from the recently announced successor of the roleplaying classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodline. And yes, it’s really true: Baldur’s Gate III is being developed by our old friends Larian Studios, the developer studio of the complex RPG hit Divinity: Original Sin 2, for whom we had the honor to plan and execute a breathtaking PR campaign.
Quo vadis E3?
With the worldwide media exposure, global live streaming of conferences by companies like Twitch (also one of our long-standing clients by the way), announcements of new IPs and world premieres of new titles, E3 is still hard to beat. In particular, Nintendo and Microsoft were able to score positive points with the global audience. Microsoft invited attendees to the huge Microsoft Theatre for their Xbox Briefing show, which was generally very well received by fans and press, and Nintendo thrilled fans with a huge booth and lots of playable demos at E3. But one of the three gaming hardware giants was notably missing this year: Sony ditched Los Angeles and E3 this year – which caused many to frown and made the show a lot less spectacular.
But some exhibitors have been bemoaning prices and conditions at the big shows for years. Behind the scenes, people even say that the whole fuss is no longer worth it. The horrendous costs of the big booths in the main halls and public visitors area combined with the lack of flexibility on the part of the trade fair were criticised. Nevertheless, almost everyone is back again, even after the weaker years in which many already murmured about the death of E3. There had already been near-lethal moments: Many people remember the absurd show in Santa Monica 2007, when a cramped mini E3 took place in various hotels and at other locations, completely unworthy for a real world conference. E3 seemed almost dead. But it survived and rose again like a phoenix from the ashes – back to it’s home in downtown Los Angeles which was undergoing its own transformation.
E3 is (still) a pivotal event for successful communication work in the games industry
One thing became clear at this year’s E3: the entire games industry is (still) in a state of upheaval – and fiercer than ever. Old revenue models are not as successful as they used to be, target groups (especially the younger ones) for the newcomers (keyword: Games as a Service) are difficult to predict or even satisfy leapfrogging from one hyped title to the next one.
In addition, the previous console generation is about to reach the end of its life cycle with the new generation on the horizon. In addition, one can certainly speculate whether another generation of consoles will follow after the next or whether streaming services will replace the game console model of today. It remains exciting to see how the big companies will position themselves in the future and which players (our customer NVIDIA is also diligently mixing their business model with their game streaming service GeForce NOW) will ultimately be able to assert themselves in the streaming market. Accordingly, the announcements at this year’s E3 seemed to be somewhat cautious. The really big surprise announcements were missing and many games were only presented with a CGI trailer; “real” gameplay was rather rare to see.
Nevertheless, E3 is (still) important for the entire gaming industry. It gives a new reason for the media to write about hottest gaming topics of all kinds – even for those who don’t usually report on digital games.
Even though June is for many a rather inappropriate time within the publishing year, E3 is still a central platform to dive into dialogue with the various international stakeholders, to establish or maintain contacts from all over the world from Asia to the USA and to discover new business opportunities. What is obvious at this year’s E3: Everyone is looking for new solutions to reach younger and more mobile target groups in addition to the “traditional” touchpoints.
And that’s exactly what we do at Ranieri Gaming. With our expertise and passion for gaming, we find effective and comprehensive ways to communicate products, brands and services to the right target groups.
But in recent years, much has changed: Distribution channels have become digital, streaming continues to gain importance and eSports is now a huge market in its own right. This makes it all the more important for companies not to be forgotten within the flood of news about spectacular titles, digital gaming culture and new trends. They have to present themselves as part of the big gaming family on the publishing side and, at the same time, manage to not lose touch on the business side.
As in many years before, there are excited rumors that E3 will take place in Las Vegas next year. Maybe the time has come. But on the other hand… as far as Las Vegas is concerned, we believe that this place is rather the result of romantic wishful thinking, particularly on the part of young journalists, developers and creators. .
We believe that it will rather be an unspectacular replacement. Or that E3 will simply take place the same venue once again. Perhaps a little more empty on the show floor, but surrounded by more company-driven extra events like at the Microsoft Theatre next door, which was very successful again this year and the E3 Coliseum. Many companies held high level meetings behind closed doors looking to map out future announcements and releases. On the business side, this year’s E3 was a very good event – for us as well.
The world’s largest gaming fair is just around the corner: gamescom in Cologne
With E3, the gaming year really starts off. After a short breather, the year continues with gamescom in August and EGX in London and Paris Games Week are exciting dates that no one should miss. Of course, we will attend all these events and look forward to hearing more about gamescom Asia next year.