Leaderboard: Is E3 no longer relevant to gaming?

This big reveal worked out super great.

CNet had an interview out last week with Sony’s Shawn Layden discussing a number of aspects of the company’s business plans that, while potentially of interest to many of our readers, doesn’t cover a lot of the games we cover here. But Layden does bring up several interesting points of discussion about E3, as he states that the company’s choice to skip the event this year is motivated at its core by E3 no longer really serving its initial purpose. It no longer provides a useful avenue for communicating big reveals or for communicating with retailers, especially in the internet era. In Layden’s own words:

So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it.

Obviously, Sony isn’t the first big company to step away from the show, which has been making changes by allowing fans in to tour the show floor and other format shifts. But I think this is a useful discussion to have and something to consider. Is E3 functionally a zombie now? Is it still something useful that needs to change its overall format? Heck, are trade shows in general still something we should use? Let’s go to the polls about it!

Leaderboard: Do you think E3 has lost its relevance?

  • Yes, I'd like to see it gone altogether (21%, 39 Votes)
  • Yes, I'd like to see it pivot to a different format (10%, 18 Votes)
  • Yes, I'd like to see it moved to earlier in the year (1%, 1 Votes)
  • No, but its relevance is diminished significantly (23%, 43 Votes)
  • No, but companies are getting big enough to bypass it (8%, 15 Votes)
  • No, leaving it behind is a bad idea (9%, 16 Votes)
  • Frankly there are other trade shows I'd rather see go away (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Frankly, I don't want any trade shows like this (7%, 13 Votes)
  • I like pie and seeing totals without expressing opinions (18%, 33 Votes)
  • Your poll answers cannot encompass the nuance of my opinions and I will explain in the comments (4%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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Danny Smith

Once upon a time it was corporate entities explaining to industry and shareholders what new products were coming down the line so stores could try and predict what stock for what products would sell the best and naturally be the ones to order in bulk.
Then it turned into a PR show for consumers, now is a shitty comicon where you get a lot of masturbatory back patting, sponsored by (insert generic american corporation here) and feels pointless when the trailers from announcements will be on youtube minutes later.

Its like bob marketin tried to make it the advertising superbowl for videogames and media and technology has vastly outpaced that in relevancy. Its like the post office putting on a huge street party for next years stamp prices when email and online shopping/delivery exists. If we need to be sold on something trailers, demos and word of mouth happen after the e3, not during it. So its pretty pointless unless you are a low tier ‘influencer’ trying to get the hot scoop all the other thousands of people there with you are getting.

Bruno Brito

A spectacle made for the PR masturbation of companies is now irrelevant in a industry where not delivering promises is the staple?

How could that happen!


I can’t remember the last time I was excited about anything announced in E3. I think it has turned into something that just barely tries to be ‘for the fans’ and instead is simply yet another occasion of investor sick ducking.


This poll needed a simple “Yes” answer without any of the conditionals.

Toy Clown

I used to be excited for E3 and now it doesn’t matter to me anymore. I asked myself why:

When E3 was new, there weren’t a whole lot of games to cover and that was back when studios kept information about their games under wraps. Beta testers weren’t allowed to leak information about a game to the public. If caught, they were removed from testing.

That’s what gave E3 revelance: It was a show that gave us information about games that we had heard about and with that came excitement as we learned a little bit more. E3 gave us our first look at many games and also gave us relevant information, such as release dates.

Now, all of that is spoiled. Anyone that has money can buy their way into most betas and information goes out all over the internet. We know what a game is all about, what it looks like, how it plays and more before a release date is even in sight.

Couple that with the plethora of absolute shite being tossed into the gaming market and it’s left me feeling rather apathetic about gaming shows anymore.


At this point E3 is basically a forecast for what’s coming in the next year. There’s some insight as to what’s going on with the devs etc. and sometimes they try to put on entertaining shows, but generally it’s just “hey here’s the big stuff we’re working on for the next year or so, look forward to buying it.”


I haven’t been paying much attention to E3 over the years, it tends to creep up and suddenly there are 400 new articles about what was seen there. I only started deliberately checking in and watching the streams in the last few years.

I like the big reveals.
I like the big company presentations, letting us know the thinking of the top brass
I like the comparison between all the latest games being revealed
I even like the elitism of not letting the public in as I feel we get more reports as devs aren’t wasting time chatting to dans.

That said, since the xbone announcement at E3, I’ve felt that the show has been much less about celebrating excellent games and awesome new technology and more just a pure sales opportunity. I know that is always the main thing that devs/publishers want to achieve, but the way they’re achieving it means the expo has lost it’s relevance.

I no longer hear the passion coming from the exhibitors. I no longer hear the enthusiasm for new tech, new game ideas, or even competitors games.

I guess to sum up, I’d say E3 used to be a celebration of gaming, but is now just a corportate sales platform.


I used to watch E3 on G4 TV years back, to see all the cool tech/game related stuff, then they started to do some weird stuff like refusing to let regular people in/only people with ‘staff passes’, and then it turned into this weird bubble of ‘We’re bringing in our CEO’s to blather at you for an hour in nonsensical unrelated stuff to what you want to hear about and explain how awesome they think their personal business is, while blatantly disregarding your interest in games and only giving an occasional reveal of something new.’…so I kind of lost interest.

For awhile, I tried to hop online every time there was an E3 and view each of the companies spiels to see what was coming out for awhile there, but after watching numerous people who obviously knew nothing about what they were talking about trying to speak about it, interspersed with an occasional obvious fanboi/fangirl thrown in who could talk in our lingo…it got excruciatingly boring. I like to hear the tech ins/outs, and also to hear from the people who had their hands on it…not some business head that has no idea what the hell they are even working on thinks is going on.

I did try and keep up to date with what was coming out…(Even if I didn’t necessarily have any desire to play it…I could talk about it with others who would have more interest in it if they expressed a desire for said game-play type)…while also trying to see what was new from any specific company attending.

I couldn’t personally ever attend physically, but it was nice to see all the various things from afar that I wouldn’t get to see living out in middle of nowhere like I do.

Nowadays, I’m guessing E3 is basically defunct/has been turned into a corporate shill. (I don’t know for sure though, because I gave up on it.)


Nowadays it’s basically just advertising what’s coming down the pipeline, which is how it’s been for some time. Essentially it’s “What to expect between now and next June”.

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Jack Pipsam

I think its relevance is decreasing, but I still enjoy it all the same.
The Xbox conference is the only day I ask off work for. I worked Xmas day, I worked New Years Day, I’d work Australia Day.
But Xbox E3 day? Hell no, I’m watching my boy Phil and his tight gaming t-shirts thank you.
(I’m not even joking, last year the only day off work I requested was E3 to watch the Xbox conference XD. I plan on doing the same this year.)

Kickstarter Donor

E3 has been significantly diminished by the rising popularity of trade shows and exhibitions around the globe like Gamescom, the Tokyo Game Show, etc. IMO that’s how it should be; games appeal to a global market, after all. For consumers at least, E3 still matters for big reveals, and its usefulness to companies probably depends on what they choose to do with the given space and time. For example, Nintendo has routinely engaging segments with tournaments and Treehouse Live broadcasts even if the games on display aren’t massively anticipated.