For the first time in over a decade EA is skipping E3... sort of. Rather than attending E3 and paying for floor space, they are are going to have two simultaneous events called EA Play. One will be in London and the other will be in LA, just down the road from E3. The LA event will be from June 12-14 while the London event is on June 12 only. The biggest difference between this and having floor space in E3 is E3 is closed to the public, meaning EA can let fans in to see and play their games.
EA will still be having a press conference but instead of having it the day before E3, alongside Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft, it will be on Sunday June 12. This seems partly like a move to try and replicate the success Bethesda had with its press conference last year, which was set apart from the others.
For most people, this new layout won’t really be that different to how it was before. Outlets will still report any news from EA Play as E3 news. The main reason I can think for this move is they are trying to affect how the news gets out online. There’s a reason E3 is now a private event for press, and that’s because massive crowds made it very difficult for the press to do their jobs at the event. Making the event private helped, but it also meant all news and all hands-on impressions came from members of the press.
With this move, EA has made it so that at least some of the hands-on impressions will come from fans, who are generally more forgiving and would make less of an issue of some things than the press do. The success of this move really depends on how the press react; if they don’t bother going to demo the games because of the larger crowds and longer waits, EA could suffer from a lack of press coverage compared to its competitors, but time will tell. Of course it’s also a way to get some good PR with the fans.
Overall, I feel this is probably a good move from EA, but I worry that, if it’s a success, others will follow suit and we’ll have a silly situation where each company has their own event that’s not E3, but might as well be.
How do you feel about this news? Let us know in the comments below!