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Gamasutra Podcast: 'Does The New E3 Work?'

In the latest Gamasutra Podcast, journalists from Newsweek, Ziff Davis and Wired team up with developers from Day 1 Studios and GameSpy Tech to critique the new E3 format, with constructive criticism among su
In the latest Gamasutra Podcast, presented by Tom Kim, we present a round table on the new format of the E3 Media and Business Summit. The panelists discuss the new format of the show and reflect on their impressions resulting from these changes. Representing the gaming press, we have Susan Arendt of Wired's News Blogging team at Game | Life, N'Gai Croal, General Editor of Newsweek and John Davison of the Ziff Davis Game Group's 1UP Network. From the developer and technology services side, we have Todd Northcutt, Director of IGN / GameSpy Multiplayer Technology and Denny Thorley, President of Day 1 Studios. This year's E3, spread out over several hotel suites and the Barker Hanger at Santa Monica was an effort by the event's organizers to offer a more viable environment for exhibitors to present their products and to conduct business. Susan Arendt of Wired commented initially on the changes in the podcast: "E3, to me this year, felt more like it was being done out of habit than anything else. There weren't any big surprises, really. Just about every game that we saw we knew was coming had already seen at a game day event. With rare exception, we pretty much had already heard everything everyone had to say. It just felt like we were all kind of there because we all get together for E3 every year." The panelists discuss how access to materials was affected by both the invitation-only attendance as well as the physical layout of the expo, spread out as it was between multiple locations. Newsweek's N'Gai Croal added of these issues: "Obviously there was no Kentia Hall, so there goes a lot of the obscure, the Korean, the sort of the variety of stuff that you would see over in Kentia Hall. That was deliberate on the part of the ESA. In previous years they had allowed a range of smaller publishers to draft on their coattails as they saw it, and this year they decided not to do that... For me, coming from Newsweek I tend to have to cover some of the bigger games with a mix of smaller games, and I am personally more interested in indie games than I've been in the past, and again, because I couldn't get over to Barker Hanger I couldn't see those." Their reports weren't all critical. Particularly from the developer side, the panelists go into some specifics about how well the format worked for them in terms of doing business. And on the press side, the journalists appreciated the quality of access they got unfettered access they got directly with the developers themselves. The panelists wrap up their commentary by speculating on how the ESA could address some of the perceived deficiencies of this year's format, and some of the challenges they might have to face to do so. Newsweek's Croal specifically noted: "I go to a news conference for news, and little news was being made... You have all these companies, these video game publishers that are based in the United States, yet Sony and their third parties just announced a whole slew of new games in Japan [immediately following E3] and it's not even Tokyo Game Show. What does that say when those games could have been announced at E3?" He concluded: "I know the Japanese market needs a boost as far as the PS3 is concerned, but what does that say about North America's position in the global game market - when Sony can just have its own event not even a full week after E3 and unveil a slate of new games from itself and third parties, and it’s not even TGS?" You can now download the Gamasutra Podcast: 'Does The New E3 Work?' (.MP3). In addition, you can subscribe to the Gamasutra podcasts by clicking this link for iTunes. You can manually subscribe to our feed in your favorite RSS reader that supports enclosures by using this URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GDCRadio.

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