Mixed Feelings at E3
Growing up, I was a gamer. NES, Sega, Super NES, Playstation, Xbox. I played it all. I absolutely love the gaming industry. The hype behind it all, the new systems, trailers for new games, and new features. I started keeping track of E3 in middle school. I'd jump online to get on Gamespot and follow the coverage of all the major gaming news. Every year I'd follow along eventually changing to the G4 channel. Then onto Twitch for coverage. As i grew, I never gave up watching coverage of E3 every year. Each year with the same thought. It'd be an absolute dream to make it to Los Angeles for the convention.
The past two years have been a roller coaster ride in the streaming universe. I had the discussion with my wife that i wanted to take streaming more seriously and get equipment to improve the quality significantly. I started my streaming career on Twitch and started to create a community of wonderful people helping one another. As i hit 1k followers on Twitch, I found out about a new streaming site acquired by Microsoft and decided to give it a shot. I started restreaming to both and decided that i can't keep splitting my viewers. If I wanted to achieve my goals i needed to focus on one platform and work hard. So I picked Beam. The community was very welcoming, the interaction was incredible due to the low latency, and the interactive buttons made streams fun to watch and play along with.
As i continued to grow i decided to apply for partnership with Beam. My community and I pushed together to make that dream become a reality. I found the site I made my home. Beam eventually re-branded to Mixer and wanted to make E3 the first convention to make a statement in the gaming industry. Mixer decided to send partners to represent the platform to the convention. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those chosen. But, at the last minute i found out a few of my good friends were going. I thought, this could be my chance. If i could only get a ticket. I asked my partner manager if there was still a chance. All the right pieces fell into place and I was headed to E3.
So why did I tell you all this? I wanted to try and briefly explain to you just how much E3 means to me. What it took to get there. So that when I explain the next part, you'll know exactly how i felt.
Walking up to the convention center it still felt like a dream. Seeing the giant God of War banner on the front of the convention center. Where so many big games have been placed in the past. This was the sight you always see in your mind when you think of E3. Walked over to get my badge which said my name and my Mixer streaming name then INDUSTRY at the bottom. I still couldn't believe it all. Then i started to notice people with badges that had a neon green holder for their badge. These people were the PUBLIC attendees. Turning around you notice more of these green badges. I thought nothing of it, mainly because this was my first experience with E3. I figured it would probably be busy.
Walking into the convention center with my friend, I still felt blown away and couldn't believe i was there. Walking through the lobby just before the entrance to the show floor, there is was, The mixer booth. Met up with a few of my streamer friends and Mixer staff giving them all hugs. The floor the first day opened at noon so we we're a bit early. But we were calmly waiting at the Mixer booth waiting for the doors to open. Sitting there i realized there was a very long line ahead of me. Covered in the same green badges. I asked, "Is this the line for the expo hall?" As a friend replied, "Yup!"
The doors open and people rush in immediately covering the floor with the same green badges. The big companies, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, all flooded with these green badges. The big companies had alot to offer. Especially Xbox, who I thought clearly won the show this year. I'll actually be reviewing the companies in a separate post, But i wanted to get this off my chest. Or out of my fingers? Anyway, this years E3 had a common theme throughout the three days on the show floor. Long lines, flooded by those same public green badges. The second day the Call of Duty WWII line hit capacity within just three minutes of the expo opening. The lines for all the big companies offered much of the same. Two hour wait here, Three hour wait there. Green badges EVERYWHERE. Thankfully my friend and i were able to get lucky at the end of day two. The nice folks at Nvidia decided to cap the line at the end of the day right at us. We got to play Destiny 2 on their beasts of machines.
Over the years, E3 was open to industry professionals. Each year I wanted to be able to make it to E3. To play those games and have that wonderful experience. This was the first year in a very long time where they decided to open it to the public. I can honestly say, it ruined my experience. The addition of the public made it incredibly hard to meet industry professionals, network, try out the new demos, and see the new equipment. The lines, the booths, the entire convention center was COVERED with these green badges. I never really understood in past years why E3 was only a convention for industry. This year, I got to experience it. As part of the industry. My opinion, while it might be good for business, it hurts the actual industry professionals trying to do a job. I'd hope that they got the chance to actually look at this experience and decide to either limit the public badges or get rid of them again entirely.
At the start of the trip I was living in a fantasy world. At the end, I couldn't wait to get home. Sorry E3, but this wasn't the best move.