Mobile developer CEO thinks E3 becoming irrelevant
Move towards digital distribution hurts the annual expo
Despite E3 being one of the most exciting times of the year for both gamers and industry people alike, it would appear some people feel the developer showcase is not as relevant as it once was. People such as Neil Young, CEO of mobile developer ngmoco.
When asked of E3’s relevance, Young said, “I think it’s diminished massively. E3 was invented as a place where all the buyers could come and see the products that the publishers thought were going to be the big hits. That led to an arms race of publishers building bigger and bigger booths, with more and more elaborate displays to try and influence the opinion of buyers.”
The CEO continued, “That’s the core of E3, and then surrounding E3 there are these two other dimensions. One is the press that gets generated around it, and you could argue that’s a benefit to consumers, and I think it is interesting to customers, but really the awards and what-have-you are just another way to pre-validate products before their release. The third dimension is the business that gets done in meeting rooms that are off the show floor, and that has varying degrees of value.”
Young does acknowledge that the expo is more relevant to big publishers such as EA than mobile developers, but he believes as the industry shifts further towards digital distribution, so will E3’s relevance lessen.
“If I think historically, when I was at Electronic Arts, the most value I personally would get out of E3 was meeting with colleagues from around the world and getting the opportunity to spend focused time with them, and also to stay connected to people in the industry,” said Young.
“I think as we move more and more to digital distribution, to mobile and mobile operating systems, and we move away from the packaged-goods centric business, I think the relevance of E3 diminishes and will continue to diminish.”
I’m still excited; are you?