Has your kiddo been glued to the internet more than usual the last few days? If you’re the Parent of a big gaming fanatic, there’s a reason for it. It’s E3 Season, which means huge announcements and hype for the game industry as a whole.
So, what exactly is E3? Why is it a big deal in gaming, and why is your game-loving kiddo obsessed with it? We’ll explore and answer all that in this post.
What is E3?
So, let’s jump right to it. What is E3? E3 is a yearly expo for the game industry. It’s generally focused on game developers and publishers showcasing their upcoming games to the press and to potential partners and retailers, so there’s a pretty large amount of showmanship in play to capture the eyes and minds of that audience.
E3 stands for the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It’s held every summer in at the LA convention center. It’s a significant event in the game industry. To put it in perspective, the expo itself is only 3 days, but events and specific conferences go on for the entire week – not only that, preparation for E3 begins the day after the previous one ends, ramping up to fever pitch across the industry in the 3 months before the show itself.
A Quick Look Back
So where did this madness start? Well, way way back in the 90’s as consumer electronics – including video games – were really starting to take off, games were taking up more and more of the CES (Consumer Electronic Show). So, as the gaming element of this area grew larger and trade organizations formed specifically to support this segment, eventually it made sense to create a show dedicated to gaming. And E3 was born – With the first show taking place all the way back in 1995.
Why is E3 So Important?
I’m sure there’s many Parents out there wondering – “Why is this thing so important?” Well, as we touched on above E3 is a huge venue for the developers and publishers. It a place where they can connect with – and even more importantly – excite the press, retailers, and more and more the game playing public. It’s big enough you’ll see some announcements even hitting the mainstream news.
At E3, there’s a laser focus across the industry (including developers, publishers, hardware makers, press, retailers, manufacturers, tool developers, pretty much everyone…) on what’s coming up. The response a game gets at E3 can make or break it. A surprise hit at the show can see it’s marketing budgets swell, while a surprise dud can see it slashed.
For the Press and Retailers, it’s a chance to see what games will be coming out in next 12-24 months, along with what new hardware, peripherals, or other gaming-related elements will be seeing the light of day.
For Developers and Publishers, it’s a chance to see what their colleagues are working on. Additionally, they can get a sense of upcoming trends and shifts in the market. Perhaps, most important, it’s a chance to get an early gauge on audience reaction to their games.
Why Your Kiddo is Talking About E3
As a Parent of an avid gamer, you’ve probably already heard your kiddo talking about E3. There’s a reason for that. If your kiddo is a gamer the news that comes out of E3 will impact them greatly over the next year. Online, they’ll get early glimpses of new games coming up and see new technology about to hit the market. All this means they’ll get a sense of what their hobby will look like for the next year or more.
While E3 in 2018 is June 12-14, there are huge conferences held by the largest publishers beforehand. Here’s where each one gives a preview to the world of what they’ll be showing off on the Expo floor. It’s at these conferences you get the big game announcements and trailers touting the new titles slated for release. There are more details on these conferences below.
Can You Go to E3?
So, as a Parent, what can you say if your kiddo wants to actually go to the show? Is it even possible? For many years, E3 was relegated to only people in the industry or the press. In recent years though, as more consumer-focused shows like PAX or Gamescom have grown, the ESA (the group that runs E3) has started selling a small number of tickets to the general public.
Unfortunately for your kiddos, though, these sell out extremely quickly AND are only valid for attendees over the age of 18.
That said, with the rise of streamers and youtube, not to mention the all the publisher-specific showcases before expo starts, your kiddos can get a good sense of what it’s like right from the comfort of their computer, phone, or tablet.
Oh, and if they’re still curious, From experience, I can tell you that basically, it’s loud. Like really really loud. It’s awesome and exciting too, but seriously… Loud.
Conferences & Shows
As mentioned above, every year the big game publishers have huge press conferences to preview and kick off their E3 presence. If you or your kiddo is really curious about what’s coming up and what E3 has to offer, I recommend tuning into the publisher showcases the happen in the days before the show itself. This will give them the best sense of what’s coming out and gives a good look at what will, usually, be on the floor
Also, the press is generally updating across the board in near real time. Gaming enthusiast sites and twitter feeds will be updating non-stop. Also, if your kiddo misses any of these press conferences as they’re live, they’ll be all over the internet right after, so they’ll still be able to see them.
2018 Conference Schedule
June 9th (Saturday)
- EA (Electronic Arts) – 11:00 AM (PDT)
June 10th (Sunday)
- Microsoft – 1:00 PM (PDT)
- Bethesda – 6:30 PM (PDT)
June 11th (Monday)
- Square Enix – 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Ubisoft – 1:00 PM (PDT)
- Sony – 6:00PM (PDT)
That’s E3… At least the basics you need to know as a Parent. If you have any questions, or If you or your kiddo saw anything exciting – or is excited for anything at this year’s E3, I’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below.