2K Won’t Have Presence on E3 Show Floor; Nintendo Skips Press Conference

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 12:45 pm


E3 is now just about six weeks away and companies are beginning to make their plans known. Electronic Arts will be out in full force with the usual press conference on Monday, June 10 at 1PT and on the show floor with sports games including Madden NFL 25, NCAA Football 14, FIFA 14, and NHL 14 (no mention yet of NBA Live 14 or UFC). Two other companies though are approaching things differently this year.

2K Games won’t have any presence on the show floor which is a departure from the norm. That doesn’t mean one or more of their games won’t show up at the Microsoft or Sony press conference (and NBA 2K14 at Sony’s for PS3 or PS4 is a distinct possibility) but they are going without a booth for the event. Meanwhile Nintendo is skipping the traditional press conference and holding their own smaller presentations. 

The way E3 is viewed as a venue for promoting upcoming products has been trending this direction for a few years now. Companies are looking more at the Apple model of holding their individual events where they control the message on their own terms. Apple doesn’t even attend CES because their press conferences – which strategically allow for them to present at what they deem to be the ideal time – are the big shows everyone looks forward to.

Sony had their PS4 reveal event back in February and it was a huge success. Several hundred thousand people watched it live streamed online. Sony had all the media to themselves and made big news. They didn’t have to share the spotlight with everyone else. Microsoft is set to do the same thing for the next Xbox on May 21. They’ll follow up with more at their E3 press conferences but having their own news cycle to dominate is important. No one gets that at E3.

With live streaming of the E3 press conferences and companies having the desire reach to consumers directly through avenues such as social media the need to rely on press attention has deteriorated. Ironically for the press it is more efficient to cover the conferences at home than at the venue. What E3 still provides is an opportunity for hands-on game time and interaction with developers. All of that however could be shifted to personalized events and that would often make more sense than having to appear in mid-June regardless of the development stage they are in.

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