The industry trade group responsible for setting up next month's E3 show insists that the event is not losing its importance. The ESA, or Entertainment Software Association, used to be one of the biggest powerhouses in the video game industry. It still carries a lot of weight as the primary organization for Congressional lobbying, piracy fighting, and legal support, but it doesn't have the clout that it used to.
Arguably the ESA's biggest reach into the everyday gamer is E3, which has sort of struggled to find its place over the last few years as game companies find better ways to connect with their fans, and as the traditional multi million-dollar productions that used to dominated the industry are being replaced with casual, mobile, and social games.
In an interview with MCV, ESA SVP Rich Taylor insisted, "I disagree with broad declarations that a show which hasn't occurred yet is irrelevant." He pointed out, "Folks haven't even seen what's going to take place. The fact that Zynga and GREE are going to be there is reflective of a show that is very much relevant. These firms are talking specifically about mobile and social."
Pointing to Zynga as a major example of why E3 will be relevant this year is a little bit disingenuous, as the company will only have a tiny meeting room where it is not even taking media interviews. Nevertheless, Taylor says, "What happens in LA will be heard around the globe and echo around for the months to follow.If E3 was losing relevancy we'd be having a fire sale on exhibit space, but it is the opposite, we are packed to the gills. I think it's going to be one of the strongest shows we've had in a long time."