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[Video Game Industry Thread] Nobody is Buying Anything.

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  • Snake GandhiSnake Gandhi Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Makes sense that once PAX reached it's current (aka massive) size that devs would take advantage of that many eyeballs at once. Especially with an audience predisposed to be way in to games.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Well said.

    It's people who paid to look at their ads. Yes, there's a lot more, but it's how a company would see it. Good for PA for organizing a fan-focused event.

  • CadeCade Eppur si muove.Registered User regular
    PAX is pretty much an actual gaming event, unlike say E3 that is more....commercial? Or Developer oriented. With PAX the gamers actually can see and do and play in a way you just can't otherwise at the other events. It's actually for gamers.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    E3 is about the developers/publishers showing off games to retailers and journalists; fans are so far down the chain they're not even really supposed to BE at the event.

    PAX is about fans coming together to have fun; there's more to PAX than the exhibition halls. There's tons of different kinds of actual games to play (not just video games: board games and PnP rpgs are there too, it's like a little Gencon!), there's lots of interesting panels to sit in on, ranging from developers talking about game development, to showing off the latest games, or even stuff like talking about industry trends/issues, or maybe just sit in to watch a gaming podcast get made.

    On top of all that, you have the exhibition hall, which originally existed as a way of giving people who'd probably never EVER go to E3 a way to get a taste of it. It has since pretty much become the defacto way of showing off your wares to a lot of actual PEOPLE without having to rely on journalists to try and get your message across correctly. As such, more and more devs show up for PAX, and thusly it becomes a bigger and bigger target for journalists. Those two things feed off each other, supported by the fact that it's STILL a great way to show stuff off directly to enthusiasts.

    Plus, for PAX Prime at least, most companies can get a chance to reuse all that work they did on making an E3 demo.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    The only problem is that people are dumb and while journalists are equally dumb, they at least have a reason for e3. A job to do, however amateurish.

    One glance at GAF since PAX began shows just how poisonous fans can be when there is no barrier to entry. There was a reason they weren't let into e3.

    PAX started as a fun convention, just as e3 started as a serious trade show. But both are now essentially defunct because of the internet. I mean, -PAX is essentially now a suffix on these forums meaning 'get together'. AustraliaPAX, LondonPAX etc.

    PAX itself, prime and east, have no real need to exist. The lofty ambitions of PA when they started it were to fill a void. A comiccon for gamers. But look at how comiccon has been used as a marketing tool since its conception. PAX is already the same.

    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    It's mostly interesting that it's done at PAX East when it's so close to the GDC, which seems a much better venue if you want to talk to press. Of course, PAX East is slightly earlier, and PAX allows for live streaming. It's possibly also a better place to gauge consumer reactions instead of industry reaction.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    The only problem is that people are dumb and while journalists are equally dumb, they at least have a reason for e3. A job to do, however amateurish.

    One glance at GAF since PAX began shows just how poisonous fans can be when there is no barrier to entry. There was a reason they weren't let into e3.

    PAX started as a fun convention, just as e3 started as a serious trade show. But both are now essentially defunct because of the internet. I mean, -PAX is essentially now a suffix on these forums meaning 'get together'. AustraliaPAX, LondonPAX etc.

    PAX itself, prime and east, have no real need to exist. The lofty ambitions of PA when they started it were to fill a void. A comiccon for gamers. But look at how comiccon has been used as a marketing tool since its conception. PAX is already the same.

    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

    Eh, if you're looking at PAX as nothing more than the exhibition halls and panels for "hustling", then you're looking at it wrong. You can have a completely full schedule at PAX and never set foot in anything like that.

  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    E3 was made to expo stuff, then the fans figured out it was just about the best place to get info on the game they wanted in a time when internet information wasn't anywhere remotely as abundant.

    PAX is a big, giant game convention, where the press and publishers have figured out that they can throw a bunch of their advertising effort because they reach a big chunk of their best customers without having to dump a bunch of money into broad-range advertising.

    Calling PAX useless for its intended purpose and just a platform for publishers to "hustle" their products is a pretty hollow accusation; the best stuff that comes out of PAX has nothing whatsoever to do with exhibition halls. Video game music concerts? Areas for LAN play? Areas for tabletop gaming, popular and niche? A bunch of other people just there to have a good time with the stuff they like? What does any of that have to do with publishers and the game press?

    E3 could disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't be a huge deal nowadays; publishers can release their info on the internet better and faster than trying to tease people with expo-only trailers and whatnot. Conversely, every major publisher could ignore PAX every year and it still wouldn't change the fact that most people are going there just to have a blast.

    Ninja Snarl P on
  • DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Yeah. Not to mention, while advertising is a big part of conventions like PAX its not the main reason people go to them.

    Like most conventions, its a place where you can get together with a bunch of people who are as into a certain hobby as you are.

    Basically, they're pretty fun.

    Dragkonias on
  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    There is nowhere else in America where you can play as many multiplayer DS/3DS games than PAX.

    B6yM5w2.gif
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    I want a PAX New Orleans so I can actually go. :(

    FU7kFbw.png
    Switch: 6200-8149-0919 / Wii U: maximumzero / 3DS: 0860-3352-3335 / eBay Shop
  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    You're also seeing a lot of announcements and whatnot move from GDC to PAXEast since GDC's been trying to curtail that type of stuff and regain their developer focus.

    Edit: Corrected CEC to GDC, got the two confused for some reason.

    Opty on
  • GutterkisserGutterkisser Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I wonder how heavy the publisher/marketing presence will be at PAX Melbourne given its relative isolation (and following such an inevitably big E3).

    Edit: posting from this phone is such an unpredictable joy.

    Personally, I'm there to get a taste of the larger community, but a sad part of me wants to see some dumb industry spectacle. But only because I've never had direct exposure to the circus.

    Gutterkisser on
  • AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited March 2013
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

    I disagree on that point. Given most journalists since the advent of twitter as a "thing" have revealed themselves to be complete idiots I don't think that it's really any different if companies want to "hustle" directly to gamers or through the doritos and mountain dew method. Doesn't make a difference except that people can at least get direct time with the game being sold to make up their own minds. Also as far as I know, PAX encompasses a lot more things than just video games and it's much wider in scope than say E3. Many people go to PAX just to hang out with other gamers and pretty much play games. I think the fact games companies are announcing things at PAX just shows how much it is increasingly becoming relevant to have something like this for gamers directly.

    As opposed to E3, which is increasingly becoming less about actual games at the main conferences and more about selling whatever you're trying to do strategy wise to your investors.

    Aegeri on
    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    GDC is this week, totally stoked. Advanced notice to anyone using it to premier products - fuck off, that's not the point of the show. And to video game players who get mad at the conference, it's not for you.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I blame Will Wright for making gamers give a shit about GDC. I think it would have kept floating along unnoticed by the masses if Wright hadn't revealed Spore during it one year.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    I blame Will Wright for making gamers give a shit about GDC. I think it would have kept floating along unnoticed by the masses if Wright hadn't revealed Spore during it one year.

    That's the kind of reveal that actually makes sense at GDC though, because Wright's original vision and working of Spore was tremendous and different. He was like, "procedural tech works on the huge scale, check it."

  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    edit: God fuck, ignore me. Completely wrong thread. Damn tabs...

    The Wolfman on
    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Uh, I think you've got the wrong thread Wolfman.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Aegeri wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

    I disagree on that point. Given most journalists since the advent of twitter as a "thing" have revealed themselves to be complete idiots I don't think that it's really any different if companies want to "hustle" directly to gamers or through the doritos and mountain dew method. Doesn't make a difference except that people can at least get direct time with the game being sold to make up their own minds. Also as far as I know, PAX encompasses a lot more things than just video games and it's much wider in scope than say E3. Many people go to PAX just to hang out with other gamers and pretty much play games. I think the fact games companies are announcing things at PAX just shows how much it is increasingly becoming relevant to have something like this for gamers directly.

    As opposed to E3, which is increasingly becoming less about actual games at the main conferences and more about selling whatever you're trying to do strategy wise to your investors.
    As someone who goes to PAX Prime yearly I can say with authority that being able to talk directly to a dev about a game can do wonders for instilling confidence or scaring you off. It's the best (and occasionally worst *cough*MechwarriorTactics*cough*)PR a company can put out there.

    TOGSolid on
    wWuzwvJ.png
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    EDIT: Double post.

    Ninja Snarl P on
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

    I disagree on that point. Given most journalists since the advent of twitter as a "thing" have revealed themselves to be complete idiots I don't think that it's really any different if companies want to "hustle" directly to gamers or through the doritos and mountain dew method. Doesn't make a difference except that people can at least get direct time with the game being sold to make up their own minds. Also as far as I know, PAX encompasses a lot more things than just video games and it's much wider in scope than say E3. Many people go to PAX just to hang out with other gamers and pretty much play games. I think the fact games companies are announcing things at PAX just shows how much it is increasingly becoming relevant to have something like this for gamers directly.

    As opposed to E3, which is increasingly becoming less about actual games at the main conferences and more about selling whatever you're trying to do strategy wise to your investors.
    As someone who goes to PAX Prime yearly I can say with authority that being able to talk directly to a dev about a game can do wonders for instilling confidence or scaring you off.

    Even then, I've never heard of anybody besides press folks/other developers who went to PAX to talk to game developers instead of just having a good time. Being able to meet those people is entirely an extra bonus thing that you can do, because only the neck-beardiest of incredibly lifeless nerds would want to go to PAX for the prime goal of meeting game developers unless they're directly involved in the game industry themselves. I want Shadowrun Returns to be great, but no way would I even consider going to PAX just to hear those guys talk about the game when I could plan on doing a zillion other fun things. The developers are entirely secondary attractions to the event itself.

    Ninja Snarl P on
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    Except somehow it's more insidious. At e3, developers were there to exhibit their game. To present it to a scrutinizing press and to tailor their presentation with an eye towards development roadmaps, technical details and a plan of reveal. At PAX, they're here to sell their game, to a frenzied audience of thousands of consumers. Sure, it may be genuine affection for the fans when Gearbox throw out a bunch of free Bordelands codes, or when Firaxis tease their new XCOM expansion. But beneath it all are the same needs that necessitated their appearance at e3, but without any of the obligations to the press.

    Essentially: they're here to hustle. If they have a good time all the better. But that's a nice bonus, not a reason to buy a plane ticket.

    I disagree on that point. Given most journalists since the advent of twitter as a "thing" have revealed themselves to be complete idiots I don't think that it's really any different if companies want to "hustle" directly to gamers or through the doritos and mountain dew method. Doesn't make a difference except that people can at least get direct time with the game being sold to make up their own minds. Also as far as I know, PAX encompasses a lot more things than just video games and it's much wider in scope than say E3. Many people go to PAX just to hang out with other gamers and pretty much play games. I think the fact games companies are announcing things at PAX just shows how much it is increasingly becoming relevant to have something like this for gamers directly.

    As opposed to E3, which is increasingly becoming less about actual games at the main conferences and more about selling whatever you're trying to do strategy wise to your investors.
    As someone who goes to PAX Prime yearly I can say with authority that being able to talk directly to a dev about a game can do wonders for instilling confidence or scaring you off.

    Even then, I've never heard of anybody besides press folks/other developers who went to PAX to talk to game developers instead of just having a good time. Being able to meet those people is entirely an extra bonus thing that you can do, because only the neck-beardiest of incredibly lifeless nerds would want to go to PAX for the prime goal of meeting game developers unless they're directly involved in the game industry themselves. I want Shadowrun Returns to be great, but no way would I even consider going to PAX just to hear those guys talk about the game when I could plan on doing a zillion other fun things. The developers are entirely secondary attractions to the event itself.
    True, but it's definitely something these companies are considering. While it may not be your goal to talk to those guys (unless you're a media dude), being able to can really reshape your opinion on something.

    wWuzwvJ.png
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/gears-of-war-judgment-is-no-1-but-sales-down-massively-on-gow3/0113014
    Microsoft’s Gears of War: Judgment has debuted at the top of the UKIE GfK All Formats Top 40… but the news isn’t all rosy.

    Its predecessor Gears of War 3 sold four times as many copies as its sequel achieved in its first week in the UK.

    There are factors to consider, of course. GOW3 launched on a Tuesday, meaning it had three more days on the market in its first week than Judgment. And GOW3 was a September release, which arguably is a more active consumer window than March.


    Nonetheless, Judgment becomes the latest in a long line of IP that over the last 12 months have dropped sales compared to their predecessors.

    Activision’s critically panned The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct proves the importance of a license by managing to debut in third place while Nintendo will probably be quite chuffed with the seventh place debut for Capcom’s Monster Hunter Ultimate 3.

    Here’s the UK Top 20 for the week ending March 23rd:
    1. Gears of War: Judgment (Microsoft)
    2. Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
    3. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (Activision)
    4. FIFA 13 (EA)
    5. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (City Interactive)
    6. God of War: Ascension (Sony)
    7. Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate (Capcom)
    8. SimCity (EA)
    9. Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
    10. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision)
    11. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami)
    12. Crysis 3 (EA)
    13. Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft)
    14. Skylanders Giants (Activision)
    15. Need for Speed Most Wanted (EA)
    16. Aliens: Colonial Marines (Sega)
    17. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)
    18. Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed (Sega)
    19. Hitman Absolution (Square Enix)
    20. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Warner Bros)

  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    So it sounds like, from a critical perspective at least, BioShock: Infinite is justifying its 13-year development and $700m production and advertising budget, as well as Ken Levine's diamond throne. It's getting great review scores across the board, which can only help its sales.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    It's just a shame it came out when it did for me. I would have been there Day 1 but I have purchased 3 games in the past two weeks so I need to hold off. I'm sure it'll go on sale on Steam eventually.

  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Like I said, Nintendo didn't make it clear this is an actual new product.

  • AbsalonAbsalon Lands of Always WinterRegistered User regular
    I wish I could have attended the GDC - my school project now is this ten-week humdinger of a report for [A certain game developer] and what it should consider genre-wise, design-wise etc. to successfully attract many users to a mobile game and then get them on a microtransaction train while keeping them satisfied and entertained (so no Zynga-like cognitive/behaviorist malarky).

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    How is that ad absurd, again? I realize it makes sense for US, as gamers, but to the common folk it might actually help. Or is that just Kotaku being Kotaku? (I don't ever go to the site... I find it incredibly ugly to read)

  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    How is that ad absurd, again? I realize it makes sense for US, as gamers, but to the common folk it might actually help. Or is that just Kotaku being Kotaku? (I don't ever go to the site... I find it incredibly ugly to read)

    Well, there's people that think Wii U just sounds like an additional product to the Wii (be it consumers or analysts or people like me), and it's pretty understandable since the name is innocuous. But the feature listing isn't self-evident either. "Uses the Wii U controller." What does that mean for people who don't understand?

  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    It's basically a chart that reads "They are separate consoles! Wii U is better!". But they don't want to say that, so they have crap like "Uses Wii U accessories" and "Uses Wii U Gamepad". So yeah, while to us it's stupid, to the masses it may help.

  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    Didn't Sony do something similar to inform people why the PS3 was better than every other gaming platform? And we all mocked them for that?

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  • DragkoniasDragkonias That Guy Who Does Stuff You Know, There. Registered User regular
    urahonky wrote: »
    It's just a shame it came out when it did for me. I would have been there Day 1 but I have purchased 3 games in the past two weeks so I need to hold off. I'm sure it'll go on sale on Steam eventually.

    Yeah. Why I didn't get Judgement either.

    Just got GoW3 6 months ago.

    There is something to be said about letting your games breath a bit.

    But I'm sure that Judgement was probably with GoW3's assets and they probably weren't expecting it to sell as much as GoW3 anyway.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    darleysam wrote: »
    Didn't Sony do something similar to inform people why the PS3 was better than every other gaming platform? And we all mocked them for that?

    Don't remember that, but it wouldn't surprise me. This is more of a "hey the WiiU is different than the Wii!" than "Hey the PS3 is SO MUCH BETTER than the other consoles, here are some bullet points!"

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    How is that ad absurd, again? I realize it makes sense for US, as gamers, but to the common folk it might actually help. Or is that just Kotaku being Kotaku? (I don't ever go to the site... I find it incredibly ugly to read)

    Well, there's people that think Wii U just sounds like an additional product to the Wii (be it consumers or analysts or people like me), and it's pretty understandable since the name is innocuous. But the feature listing isn't self-evident either. "Uses the Wii U controller." What does that mean for people who don't understand?

    It points out the tablet they've seen is a WiiU only device.

  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    E3 was made to expo stuff, then the fans figured out it was just about the best place to get info on the game they wanted in a time when internet information wasn't anywhere remotely as abundant.

    PAX is a big, giant game convention, where the press and publishers have figured out that they can throw a bunch of their advertising effort because they reach a big chunk of their best customers without having to dump a bunch of money into broad-range advertising.

    Calling PAX useless for its intended purpose and just a platform for publishers to "hustle" their products is a pretty hollow accusation; the best stuff that comes out of PAX has nothing whatsoever to do with exhibition halls. Video game music concerts? Areas for LAN play? Areas for tabletop gaming, popular and niche? A bunch of other people just there to have a good time with the stuff they like? What does any of that have to do with publishers and the game press?

    E3 could disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't be a huge deal nowadays; publishers can release their info on the internet better and faster than trying to tease people with expo-only trailers and whatnot. Conversely, every major publisher could ignore PAX every year and it still wouldn't change the fact that most people are going there just to have a blast.

    No no no. This is all wrong. E3 will not disappear precisely because of how essential it is to the marketing strategies of so many publishers. E3 trailers get ten times as many views as any other trade show. Gaming websites reskin and retool specifically for E3. And a dozen gaming forums 404 for days on end just from the increased traffic of the event.

    Now I know what you're thinking, this is a chicken and egg situation, right? E3 is popular because all the best new games are shown there because E3 is popular. But the proof is in the mini E3 we had a few years ago. When the show was drastically reduced in size and attendance, and limited to a smaller cadre of journalists than ever before. There was outrage from publishers, disdain from fans and annoyance from everyone else, and very quickly this change was reversed.

    All entertainment industries have a monolithic schedule to announce new products. They need it. Fragmentation of this schedule has never stuck, despite the advent of the internet. This will always be the case because of mathematics.

    I didn't say PAX was useless for its intended purpose, just that it has no unique value. The biggest draw for publishers at PAX is the attendance rather than the demographics or any sense of 'tone'. It's a huge event, but an event that is no different than a million others in a hundred other countries and cities. That was my point. 'PAX' is becoming shorthand for any gathering of like-minded gamers, rather than the specific event itself. 'E3' isn't.

    So why are publishers turning up to PAX? For the same reason they're turning up to CES and Eurogamer Expo and Leipzig Games Convention and even ComicCon. Eyeballs. Eyeballs on their product. Hundreds of thousands of eyeballs.

    The feel of PAX used to be like no other. Back when the only people who knew about it were Penny-Arcade fans. Back when only a few thousand people even turned up. But now it is just another ComicCon. Just another trade show. Of course it still has aspects to it that are non-commercial. The table-top gaming, the musical performances, the cosplay and and so on. But who is bankrolling these events? Look at the sponsors of PAX Prime. Electronic Arts. Intel. G4. Future Publishing. Do you think they are putting money into PAX because of goodwill or because it is a sound marketing investment?

    Jake Solomon does not get on a plane to PAXEast because he has free time to sign T-Shirts and lie on a futon playing Pokemon Diamond. He is there to sell XCOM. And to sell Civilization. And the entire Firaxis panel exists only to sell the company. And the Giant Bomb panel is there to generate traffic for the site. No-one, not a publisher, not a developer, not even a journalist, goes to any of these trade shows in an official capacity without something to sell.

    So don't fall into the trap of believing that PAX is some kind of gamer's mecca. A last bastion of goodwill in a corrupt and evil industry. And all these super cool developers are showing up because PAX gamers are somehow more important to them than games journalists or investors at E3. Or the millions of anonymous consumers on the internet, browsing all day every day. There are significant downsides to a consumer tradeshow becoming the focal point for an industry. Like I mentioned, there can be only one. Popularity breeds popularity. And if PAX is to become the new E3, it is not some victory for the masses. There are problems, not least of which is that for every vintage gamer with a Triforce tattoo and her own hand-knitted DS bag that turns up to PAX, there are ten superbros with tenth level prestige in BlackOps and a youtube channel of forty-thousand similar subscribers. And often, because of the popularity of ignorance, they have the most cache when it comes to getting the message out. Hooray for that.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    The dots instead of the check mark for the Wii is just kind of sad.

  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    The dots instead of the check mark for the Wii is just kind of sad.

    Yeah, that really annoys me. It's like "oh sure you can do that on the Wii too, if you really want. I mean, it won't give you AIDS or anything. Probably won't kill your dog either."

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  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    darleysam wrote: »
    Didn't Sony do something similar to inform people why the PS3 was better than every other gaming platform? And we all mocked them for that?

    Yes, but at least Nintendo is simply comparing it to the Wii and not the PS4? I could see how this could help a consumer see that the WiiU has more features than the Wii.

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