In light of Sony’s recent announcement that for the first time in the history of E3, they won’t be attending the event in 2019, questions surrounding the future of the event have become quite pertinent. Sony has been an integral part of E3 for as long as E3 has existed, and not having them at E3 2019 will leave behind a pretty big void no matter what way you look at it.
Microsoft, however, have confirmed that they will be at E3 2019, and will have “a lot to share”, while Nintendo also took the opportunity to confirm the same a few days ago. Now, recently in a Extra Life charity livestream (which you can view below), Xbox boss Phil Spencer talked about E3 a little bit more, speaking about his memories of how the event started out and how it’s grown over the years, before going on to give his thoughts on how important it is now.
“I’m old enough to remember E3 was about retailers coming and trying to figure out how many cartridges they were gonna buy for the holiday,” he said. “And this was back when things would sell out. So, they would go to E3 and they would try to figure out what the hit games were, and we’re all there trying to show our games so they would up their purchase quantities and we’d know how many cartridges to build, discs, whatever it was.”
“Then, all of a sudden, retailers wanted the press there, because they wanted to see what the press was writing about,” Spencer continued. “Because they kinda trusted the press’ instincts, which made sense, on what games are going to be hot. So then E3 went from a retail show to more of a press and retail show.”
He then went on to talk about the value Microsoft now sees in E3, and how they approach the event each year. ““Now I’d say most of our efforts, and the reason why we like E3 the way we do — because we could do this on our own or direct — we just think it’s an awesome and, frankly, convenient way for the fans to experience video games,” said Spencer. “I think we do it because it’s a U.S. celebration in L.A. where it’s easier for people in the U.S. to come to one place and just share their love of video games.”
It’s good to see that Microsoft – and Nintendo, as mentioned above – still see enough value in E3, because a single, consolidated event where we get the biggest news not just from the most major developers and publishers, but also from smaller and mid-sized ones, has undeniable appeal. And who knows, maybe 2019 is just a one off year for Sony, and we’ll see them back at the show in 2020. One can always hope.