Greetings from sunny southern California! I’m in Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. While there are a number of other video game expos held throughout the year, E3 is by far the largest, loudest and most impressive.
All the big game developers are here (EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft, Bethesda, etc.), along with hundreds of smaller and mid-sized companies, all set to make a good impression and show off their upcoming releases. E3 is massive, taking up the entire LA Convention center and many other locations downtown. This year looks to be even bigger than ever.
E3 used to be mostly for press and industry insiders, but this year the general public is admitted as well. According to the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), which holds E3, in addition to members of the press and retailers, about 15,000 gamers will be on the show floor. It promises to be a memorable week.
I know what you’re thinking. “All this fuss for video games? Only kids play those.” That’s a common misconception, gaming is a big business with a broad and diverse consumer base. According to NPD, the U.S. video game industry generated more than $30 billion dollars in revenue in 2016. Stats compiled by the ESA also point out that the average game player is 35 years old and adult women represent a greater portion of the video game-playing population (31%) than boys age 18 or younger (18%). The video game industry easily rivals the film and music industry as one of the world’s biggest media markets. That’s a giant leap forward from the days when Pong was considered the high point in gaming.
Even though I spend a majority of my time covering TV, I enjoy coming out to E3 whenever I can. This is my ninth time at E3 so I know what to expect. I’ve got the three most important things every attendee needs - walking shoes, a water bottle and a good roommate. Going to E3 is akin to urban camping, you walk for miles and need a reliable bunkmate. I’ll be staying downtown in a loft with my buddy Matt Cabral, a full time freelancer and one of the best in the business.
I’m also well prepared. You can’t go into E3 without a game plan, it’s just too massive. I’m skipping EA’s Saturday event as my flights just didn’t line up but I’ll certainly be hitting up the Xbox and Bethesda pressers on Sunday. Then I’ll be going to events for Intel, Activision, Xbox and Sony on Monday before the show floor opens on Tuesday. Oh yeah, and because I’m a workaholic I’ll also have a couple of TV posts going up this week. I like to stay busy.
While almost every press conference will be streamed online and gaming guru Geoff Keighley will be taking over a portion of YouTube, if you want an even more inside baseball look at this year’s event I’d highly recommend checking out the Gazette’s Arts & Entertainment section for my E3 posts. At the top of the Gazette webpage, if you put your cursor over A&E and then look for the Pop Culture tab, you can find things even quicker. Or better yet, you can follow me on Twitter at @terryterrones. I’ll be tweeting frequently and will probably post a few cool pics and videos. Okay, enough self promotion. I need to get to work. See you on the show floor!
Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.