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E3 to be cancelled, replaced with E4: THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL starring Steven Seagal

Next Generation: EXCLUSIVE! MUST CREDIT DRUDGE REPORT! E3 IS HISTORY!

Ars Technica: Uh, it’s not cancelled, just… uh… downsized. Yeah. We’ll get back to you.

Edit: It’s official.\’c2\~

My thoughts:

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  • If we do have E3, can we have it somewhere besides Los Angeles, please? I mean, there’s this other city just right there, with plenty of hotel space.
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  • I can actually see the trade shows segmenting, and this being good for the industry as a whole. Developer meet and greets (GDC, AGC), trade shows focused on a particular industry segment (AGC again, for MMOs), and events for the general public (GenCon, Pax, ComicCon). The industry is too large now for one-show-to-rule-them-all-and-in-the-darkness-bind-them.
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  • As someone who’s worked at several E3s, the experience for those who actually have to get work done has devolved, year after year, into something akin to a – very loud – pit of hell, with ravenous hordes of post-teen fanboys seeking what trinkets they may devour.
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  • And as someone who’s worked at game companies for the past few years, witnessing the effort that goes into what are frequently smoke-and-mirrors displays, for the benefit, more often than not, of impressing competitors who are also sleepless from coming up with their own smoke-and-mirrors displays, seeing that fall by the wayside would not be a bad thing.

Of course, if you believe the PR people, it’s all the fault of those nasty bloggers. From the Ars Technica story:

One source I spoke with told me that media access is indeed a problem, but it probably does not factor in greatly to the decision to downsize the show. Nevertheless, there are plenty of complaints from insiders about how “blogging” in particular has made the shows more difficult, if only because floor people are instructed to speak only of what they are approved to speak of, lest another half-baked headline make the rounds.

Damn those interlopers and their calculating machines!