Now that E3 2009 is over, analysts speaking as part of Gamasutra's latest 'Analyze This!' feature
have been reflecting on the return of a larger-format event. The general consensus?: "E3 is back."
"E3 is way back, and it matters a lot. This year's E3 was a pleasant experience, and it was right-sized," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who theorized that next year, the media presence will likely be "much larger."
He added, "There was a big enough presence to create a feeling of something huge, but few enough people that the space could be navigated easily. I think that the booth size limitation was a great idea, as the aisles between booths were wide."
This year's E3, which took place in early June at the L.A. Convention Center, attracted 41,000 people
from different sectors of the video game business and media. E3 2007 and 2008 were lower-profile events that attracted only a few thousand attendees.
That smaller format was in response to complaints that the Entertainment Software Association-ran event was getting too big for its britches, reportedly becoming too expensive to be worth publishers' attendance.
But game execs then criticized the smaller scale as being too underground, and subdued, so the ESA sought a happy medium. While 41,000 attendees is a large number, the ESA kept attendance under relative control, as E3 at its height hit over 75,000 people in 2005.
"Yes, E3 is back to its roots, and the industry now believes there is a positive return on that hefty marketing expense to put on the show," said Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.
Cowen and Company's Doug Creutz added, "E3 appears to be back. This year was a nice median between the overcrowded insanity of 2006 and the ghost town feel of 2008. It's an important event for the industry and I'm glad to see the ESA came to their senses and brought fun and excitement back to E3."
You can now read the analysts' further reflections on E3 2009
, including what they thought were the most notable E3 announcements, at Gamasutra (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).