The Electronic Entertainment Expo – E3 – is only a week or so away and all my friends and colleauges in the industry are working their butts off getting ready to unveil new titles or map out plans for coverage. Me? I have made a bunch of appointments, I am attending two of the big three press conferences (Sony, for the 2nd year running would not even respond to my numerous email requests to attend.)
In fact, since the E3 show sprung out of CES in the 90’s I have only missed the show twice, those two being the first E3 ever in Atlanta, and then the 2007 debacle in Santa Monica (which was just after I left my PR job at Vivendi and I needed a break)
All the other E3’s have brought different experiences and adventures, and here are a few I can remember….
1997 – Atlanta – Getting hit on by a cute girl in the hottub of my Atlanta hotel, only to find that said cute girl was in fact a ‘Lady of the night’ when she told me that we could go to my room for $300!
2000 – Los Angeles – I had just been hired by Red Storm a few days before the show, and we stayed at the tres swank Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey. That year we gave out little rubber balls with the RSE logo on them that lit up when you bounced them. Demand for these ‘blinky balls’ was insane, and as I was in charge of them, I managed to strike some pretty sweet deals with other exhibitors, including a whole bunch of Fox DVDs, a cool Aliens mug and free lunch three days running:) Another personal high point was after being driven nuts by the skateboarders and loud music coming from the next booth, I lobbed a ball at one of them and caught him right on the back of his helmet. Immature? Very. Wrong? Totally. Fun? Hell yes!
2005 – Los Angeles – This was the E3 that we unveiled F.E.A.R. far and wide, and I have to say it was one of the most satisfying E3’s ever on a professional level, thanks to the killer demo that the dev team put together. That year we won ‘Best Action Game of E3’, and I was a happy camper!
I guess the main reason I love the show is that I get to see and hang with most of the great people I have worked with over the years. Seeing some of the guys and gals from 1UP, IGN, PC Gamer etc and hopefully getting to have a beer with them makes this event the high point of my work year.
I am also glad that the ‘real E3’ is back this year, not cut down, lots of exhibitors and events and products to see. The US games industry needs a flagship show and after the neutering of the last few years, here is hoping that E3 2k9 is a return to form!