CORE GAMERS GET OVER YOURSELF: E3 IS NOT JUST ABOUT YOU!
Jack “HarlockJC” Campbell:
Do you remember a time where an E3 ended and every gamer walked away happy with the event? It seems every year I hear people say this was the worst E3 ever. There always seems to be something the core gamers have to cry about with the show.
Understand, I am not talking about every gamer, but those who cannot look past the games they like to see the show for what its for. Its boring, there’s not enough games, they should have dropped the price on their systems, and so on.
Its easy to play back down quarterback to major video game companies. In truth, if we had any idea about what they were talking about then we would be making more games ourselves. In truth, the companies are trying to make money and they design their E3 presentations towards that goal alone.
There are many reasons for E3. One of these reasons is to show new and upcoming games, another is new hardware, and introduction to upcoming product lines. Many of you might think that product lines is the same thing as introduction to hardware and software. However it is not the same thing.
Let’s talk about the Wonder Book coming out for the PS3. The Wonder Book took at least 15 minutes of Sony’s press conferences on E3. During the event most of the gamers watching the event called foul and vented because it was boring and why would Sony make such a thing. Then they would walk away stating how bad the Sony event was even though as gamers they were given a new God of War, Playstation All-Stars, and got to see a great video for The Last of Us.
However, this was not enough for a large number of Sony supporters and core gamers because when it was over, they expressed how bad the event was because the conferences was showing upcoming products that were not for them. The Wonder Book is the best example of this because its neither new hardware, nor was it just a game. The Wonder Book was a product that would need the use of a book, EyeToy, the Move motion controls, and of course a PS3. So Sony is going to need the press, not gamers, to make for a successful launch of the new product.
Notice I did not say gaming press, I just said press in general. Look at this article from Forbes as an example. While Forbes does not present the Wonder Book in the best light, they are still able to talk about the Wonder Book after learning about it from E3. What Sony or any other company is hoping is their E3 will be an introduction to their new upcoming products and games that target all markets. This will allow the press to have a basic idea of what the product is.
When new upcoming information comes out such as the E3 presentation and, in this case, when new authors sign up for Wonder Book the press will have the basic knowledge needed to be able to talk about the product.
Then there is a much larger market that couldn’t care less about watching E3 as a whole, but will see highlights as they come on the normal non-gaming news. Note CNN’s own highlights from E3. This link is the same information that was shown to millions more on their news channel. Notice there are no view points on what was shown, just general information and nothing more.
Here is where the “casuals” as core gamers like to call it get their news. The parents are going to see something new for their kids that allow them to act out spells from Harry Potter and in this case help teach reading skills. Then, Sony’s hope is that for the adults and teenage market that seeing news about something new from JK Rowling might also spark their interest. Notice in the demo for Wonder Books they showed kids and their family using the game, even in live demo had what looked like a mother using the product. Sony did this in the hopes to target the largest market out there the families.
This is why when Nintendo packaged in Wii Sports it sold so well. Parents are always looking for something new to play with their family and they are willing to spend the money to do it.
Nintendo motion gaming and Kinect are examples that people who don’t understand gaming like to point to as examples of where gaming went wrong and how the Wonder Book is another gimmick that should die. They would be correct about Wonder Book being a gimmick, but its just another gimmick in a long line of gimmicks in gaming. All of gaming as a whole from the very start was made to target families spent the time to look up the 80+ versions Pong Consoles that came out on the market.
This is the true reason for E3; not to show new games to us core gamers, but to show off new gimmicks to the largest market of them all; the families. This in turn for gaming is what companies like Sony are hoping will turn a profit. If Nintendo’s success with motion gaming and MS’s success with the Kinect are examples of what is needed, then Sony might be on the right path. Core gamers do spend a lot of money, but it really is time they learned that they are not only target for E3. The quicker they understand this, the easier it will be to get enjoyment out of E3 and to stop the crying every time something new is introduced that is not targeting them.