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E3 media study shows declining media attendance, coverage. [via @GIBiz]

Oct 29, 2017
2,460
New York

"There are two major factors that pushed us to do this new round of research: The first is the introduction of a major public presence to the show, which started a few years back but has grown significantly since then," reads Evolve's analysis by client support and research coordinator Matt Broitman. "The second factor is that a number of larger companies have been dropping out or otherwise reducing their presence at the show. These factors have fundamentally started to change the nature of E3, away from an all-encompassing industry-focused event, and toward a more public showcase or convention akin to PAX."

In total, Evolve's traditional media sample produced 1217 pieces of first-hand, show floor coverage -- on average, 4.2 more articles per outlet than in 2017, but also 40% less total articles than in 2017. Previews were down roughly 5% from 2017, while interviews were up roughly 5%. And of 240 games covered in total, about 40% only saw a single article or mention within the two weeks following E3.

On the influencer side, Broitman notes that YouTube and Mixer saw an increased presence in 2019, in part due to Microsoft inviting large numbers of Mixer streamers. Of 34 sample channels, 47 pieces of coverage were produced, with Broitman concluding that "with so little to work with from this side of the sample, there really isn't much that can be said beyond that attending Influencers just aren't creating coverage at E3, at least not in the volume that might be desired."
First, the report broke down total media attendees, with numbers for individual attending media members taken from ESA's official E3 lists as follows:
  • 2016: 2492
  • 2017: 3000
  • 2018: 1831
  • 2019: 2024
"The pool of first-hand coverage that came out of E3 this year has shrunk comparatively, and what remained went even further to those big names, leaving smaller titles high and dry," he said. "This results in E3 having lost its identity and failing to excel in any given category; it's too expensive to be a public focused show like PAX, too crowded and public to be an industry-focused event like GDC or DICE, and too broad and loud to generate the undivided attention that larger-scale in-house efforts like a Nintendo Direct or even a basic press tour can produce."
More information here.
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The Wiz

The Fallen
Nov 14, 2017
837
Makes sense. Almost everyone is doing their own presentations and reveals outside of E3 now. There's not much new for media to really cover outside of demos.
 

Xando

Member
Oct 28, 2017
6,427
It was a slow year. The market leader wasn’t even there.

Next year will be up again.
 

Zips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,668
I'm not at all surprised. E3 has become more and more a shell of its once former glory. Multiple studios have long since started to do their own thing right around the same time as E3. And then last year one of the biggest mainstains of the show, Sony, didn't even have a conference. And then with companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft doing their smaller shows and events throughout the year, there's just not as much of a need for E3 in general.

I'm sure it'll see another uptick in 2020 just because of the new console reveals. Even then it probably won't be as massive as it was years back.
 

Lobster Roll

Banned
Sep 24, 2019
1,099
Chicago, IL
It’s only relevant in console reveal years now where an on-stage presentation is worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s all about TGA and individual announcements from the console makers.
 

LQX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,515
Too many leaks. For the past few years we pretty much know everything a week if not weeks in advance.
 

Maximo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,073
And I mean who the fuck would want to attend next years after multiple years of journalist information was leaked.
 
OP
OP
IDontBeatGames
Oct 29, 2017
2,460
New York
I expect this will be a huge factor as to why a ton of media will not be back next year.
Not only did the leaking kind of push people away, but you also got what Wiz said below. People like Easy Allies, Kinda Funny etc all do their own reaction shows in their own studios. They have no reason truly to go to E3 and react to It there when they can be in the comfort of their own studios and interact with their own communities which is a lot more attracting. Kinda Funny has done that and then go to E3 to play games and make videos.

Makes sense. Almost everyone is doing their own presentations and reveals outside of E3 now. There's not much new for media to really cover outside of demos.
 

Noctis114

Member
Jan 25, 2019
1,027
It was a slow year. The market leader wasn’t even there.

Next year will be up again.
This

Everyone was holding their cards too close to their chest at this years E3, showing mostly trailers with little to no gameplay present, come next year and we'll be having another E3 2013 again chock full of MS and Sony going all out marketing their next generation consoles while Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, SE etc will be showing us trailer after trailer of visually gorgeous real time demos of their 2020/2021 profile.
 

Noctis114

Member
Jan 25, 2019
1,027
Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't it usually the case where a year before next gen releases both the games released in that year and the E3 of that year tend to be forgettable?

I mean theirs 2012 for example...
 

PSOreo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
594
Decline not surprising as we come to the end of a generation and with Sony not showing up.

Also did anything happen after all the private information of exhibitors etc got leaked?
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
40,347
Media has changed, why wait 6 months when you have a direct link to your custormers. I mean Sony went to wired and other tech outlets to talk about the PS5 on random tuesdays for a reason, they got the news cycle for the whole week
 

Hobbes

Incident Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
4,273
United States
After multiple friends had their information leaked because of a data breach, I hope E3 and the ESA die off and something better takes its place.
 

Caspah

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,412
Graveyard in Boston
It costs too much to get people to LA and with 20k fans running around I'm sure it makes it harder to get around to maximize interview time. If I were an editor I probably wouldn't send staff to E3. I'd have them watch the official dev/pub streams and report on that.
 

TheDoctor

Member
Oct 27, 2017
457
Should we be surprised?

Look at the number of game companies that didn't attend the event. Bang Energy and Funko Pops aren't going to fill that void.
 

Mad_Rhetoric

Member
May 7, 2019
590
I love E3 and hope it sticks around for a long time. Or at least the "idea" of E3, as in a week or several days in a row where all the game devs/publishers come together to announce/show new games all at the same time. Best and most exciting time of the year for gamer consumers.
 

poklane

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,578
the Netherlands
I wonder how long it takes until E3 just dies off with the big publishers doing it on their own. Gives you flexibility on when you do it, where you do it (you can move it to the East Coast, Europe etc.) and you don't have to rely on a 3rd party.
 

shazla

Member
Oct 28, 2017
53
Its just so expensive to be on the show floor, not the actual SqM space, but the barrage of unions and exclusive contractors you have to use for every single aspect of producing a booth, only SDCC is more intense in that regard in terms of labour costs.
 

Glio

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,653
Spain
Except for interviews and demos, I find it less and less attractive to travel long distances for something like E3, when you can get better and cheaper results with presentations and coverage in a studio.
 

bsigg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,514
2020 should get a boost as it'll be a lot of people's first chance to see the new consoles.

2021 will likely slump again.
 
Oct 28, 2017
8,242
I love E3. Hope that Sony comes back this year. They should just have a press day so the actual journalist can have a crack at covering the important stories and games.
 

Aswitch

Member
Nov 27, 2017
2,020
Los Angeles, CA
Also leaking a large portion of the media member's information doesn't help either, don't forget that happened too
It was a slow year. The market leader wasn’t even there.

Next year will be up again.
These without a doubt being the culprits. I bet you each year were new consoles are expected to be announced are the biggest for attendance. I definitely anticipate 2020 being no different.
 

Razgriz417

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,495
Not only did the leaking kind of push people away, but you also got what Wiz said below. People like Easy Allies, Kinda Funny etc all do their own reaction shows in their own studios. They have no reason truly to go to E3 and react to It there when they can be in the comfort of their own studios and interact with their own communities which is a lot more attracting. Kinda Funny has done that and then go to E3 to play games and make videos.
Giantbomb still does it best. Live reactions during the conferences, visiting the show floor during the show and great after hours panels of guests.
 

CRIMSON-XIII

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,608
Chicago, IL
Let's get the record straight.

This E3 was extremely light on gameplay, and had a lot of behind closed doors. A few main ones including FFVIIRemake and Cyberpunk 2077. I have a gut feeling that next E3 will be a lot heavier in reveals and gameplay. Halo and other launch games will get extensive gameplay. Assassins Creed 2020, the next EA game, perhaps Starfield finally? Square Enix nextgen tech demos or a tease at VII-2 or FFXVI or something. new IPs. Playstation first party games that are launching next fall will get gameplay. THe obvious Ghost of Tsushima.

I think we will be fine. Games media didnt have that much to cover compared to some previous years. Next years e3 will be the biggest since 2015 2016 in my opinion.