This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has come to a close, and even with Electronic Arts hosting a separate EA Play event, and companies such as Activision and Wargaming not having a show floor presence, the show thrived with a number of new partners and exciting products for attendees to check out.
Here’s a breakdown of how E3 is still one of the best entertainment conventions around.
E3 By The Numbers
Despite the absence of some AAA companies, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) revealed that this year’s show drew more than 70,300 attendees, including 50,000 industry professionals and 20,000 fans. It also had over 250 exhibitors with over 1,600 products ready to be seen.
The event was also a tremendous success on social media. The show generated more than seven million posts on Twitter, as well as over 500,000 likes from E3-related posts that went up on Instagram.
Twitch also found major exposure at the event, with over 42 million viewers tuning in to watch E3-related content. Considering how it was the official streaming partner of the show, it no doubt got some hype from the ESA itself, as well as companies that participated in the stream.
With that, the ESA has already announced E3’s return dates, June 13-15 in 2017. The show will once again take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
This year’s E3 showcased some of the most impressive booths in the show’s history. 2K Games went all out with its promotion of Mafia III, recreating the city of New Bordeaux (which is heavily inspired by New Orleans) with a roving funeral procession, a booth that resembled a city block, and a food truck that served hungry attendees.
Others, like Ubisoft, Bethesda and WB Games, drew fans in with ambient booth designs. Nintendo pulled out all the stops with its promotion for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, drawing in thousands of fans to its recreation of the world of Hyrule. It was the most popular booth on the show floor, with a consistent line that left a few fans waiting several hours, but none complained about the experience.
E3 was also home to a number of companies introducing their products for the first time. Perhaps the most noteworthy (and somewhat controversial) was Naughty America, which debuted at the show with a booth that showcased the future of virtual reality pornography. The showcase was an instant hit, drawing in thousands of players that couldn’t wait to see just how effective it was.
The Only Place For Everything New
E3’s 2016 show generated excitement for a number of forthcoming titles, including The Legend of Zelda, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Watch Dogs 2, Injustice 2, Mafia III, Dishonored 2, Agents of Mayhem and a number of others, with fans up in arms deciding which ones were their favorites. Needless to say, there was something for everyone.
However, it was also a show that diversified in its offerings, namely with virtual reality. Everything from Naughty America’s provocative demo to games like Serious Sam VR, Fallout 4 and Sony’s extensive PlayStation VR line-up drew in thousands of players. Additionally, Microsoft announced Project Scorpio, which promises to be the most powerful console ever, with support for 4K gaming and VR. Virtual reality is starting to settle into a groove, and it will likely continue to play a huge part at E3 in the coming years.
E3 also saw a major push with eSports. Many games are being prepped with eSports adoption in mind, including EA’s Madden NFL 17, Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1, along with Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Bethesda’s Quake Champions. Look for this to become more of a common feature in the show over the next few years, with a greater presence of companies like Twitch and YouTube to spread the word.
That’s a Wrap
This year’s show was busy and jam-packed with games and demonstrations, and it was certainly something that generated a lot of excitement within the community. Next year should be even better.