Between the tens of thousands of people, the never-before-seen video games, and the breathtaking booths at E3 2017, a flurry of other activities vital to the future of games took place.
More than 68,000 people from 106 countries attended E3 2017, making the leap into the future of entertainment.
E3 is the preeminent showcase for ground-breaking new video game titles and technology, but E3 is also where the world comes together to discover and forge the industry’s path forward. Between the tens of thousands of people, the never-before-seen video games, and the breathtaking sights at E3 2017, a flurry of other activities vital to the future of games took place.
“In 2017, we invited representatives from the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in DC to join us at E3,” said ESA Chief Counsel for Tech Policy Michael Warnecke. “It was a great opportunity for us to learn more about the challenges they encounter when playing video games and also for them to experience the excitement and innovation of our industry.”
TDI, formally known as Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Gallaudet University accepted ESA’s invitation, providing members of the industry and accessibility advocates unprecedented face time with one another. The outreach effort also grew into something unanticipated.
A crowd enjoys the games on display at E3.
“We discovered, as we were wandering the show floor with interpreters, there were a fair number of other deaf E3 attendees, who gravitated to our group,” Warnecke said. “So, in cooperation with Sony Interactive Entertainment, ESA quickly organized an evening outreach event for TDI, Gallaudet, and all of the deaf gamers we met.”
“Further opening the line of communication between the video game industry and the accessibility community was an important step forward,” said ESA Counsel for Tech Policy Delara Derakhshani. “It was gratifying to see many game publishers take time to give members of this community a special, one-of-a-kind experience at E3.”
In 2017, ESA leveraged E3 to strengthen relationships and build understanding with the Mexican video game industry as well. ESA hosted more than 20 Mexican video game developers and representatives from the industry, providing an overview of ESA perspectives on video game legislation in Mexico and the benefits of using the ESRB rating system.
E3 2017 attracted attendees in the tens of thousands and, more impressive still, generated an astounding 75 billion media impressions and 38 billion social media impressions. Gamers around the world watched 777,878,160 minutes of E3 content on Twitch. This was the direct result of ESA’s own social media efforts, as well as opening the show to the public for the first time and the addition of E3 Coliseum, two-days of panels that connected the public with industry leaders and provided behind-the-scenes access to the show’s biggest announcements.
“Gamers raise the energy of E3 to a fever pitch, reinforcing its place as the world’s preeminent event for video games,” said ESA President and CEO Michael D. Gallagher.
With 15,000 gamers at E3, given unprecedented access through E3 Coliseum, the show achieved new levels of worldwide excitement and engagement in 2017. The unprecedented buzz increased attention on exhibitor products and announcements, and boosted the impact of other initiatives at E3, including the ESA Foundation’s We Are campaign and game competitions for aspiring developers.
We Are, a traveling multimedia exhibition featuring women in the video game industry, got its start at E3 2017. Developed in partnership with Red Bull Media House, the campaign endeavors to raise awareness of the rewarding careers in the industry available to women. Since its debut at E3 2017, the exhibit has been featured at six industry events and in 2018 will be viewable online via a dedicated website.
Raising the profile of aspiring young developers and connecting them with industry professionals is a major function of E3. Winners from ESA’s game design contest in Mexico, Video Juegos MX, and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s Student Video Game Competition all attended E3 2017 and had the chance to network with industry leaders. Finalists in the E3 College Game Competition had both the chance to network at E3 and exhibit their work on the same show floor as titles like Monster Hunter: World and Super Mario Odyssey.
“The E3 College Game Competition is the next generation’s opportunity to display their creativity and ability to innovate on the video game industry’s greatest stage, and it is our opportunity to work with universities to inspire, cultivate, and support the best up-and-coming video game artists and designers,” said ESA Vice President of Media Relations and Event Management Dan Hewitt. In 2017, Phonetica by Ringling College of Art and Design won the competition.
The inclusion of student projects and We Are alongside exhibitor products added context to the view of the video game industry from E3 2017. That context was critical to educating congressional staff and the leaders of executive agencies from around the country who were in attendance.
Congressional staff and state economic development officials from Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Tennessee toured the show floor and spoke with leading industry executives at E3 2017. The congressional delegation also had the opportunity to attend the eighth annual Games and Learning Summit, featuring panels with Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., of Neuroscape Lab at the University of California, San Francisco; Jessica Lindl of Unity Technologies; Dr. Constance Steinkuehler of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the University of California, Irvine (UCI); Susanna Pollack of Games for Change; Duncan Ransom of Endless Collective; Mark Deppe of UCI’s esports program; and Gemma Bussoni of Discovr Labs.
“E3 is a unique chance to contextualize the video game industry for federal and state leaders,” said ESA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Erik Huey. “In addition to hands-on experience with cutting-edge video games and face-to-face communication with industry leaders, E3 provides a comprehensive view of the industry and where it is heading to anyone who attends.”
Roughly 320 of the more than 2,000 exhibitor products featured at E3 2017 were virtual and augmented reality products (up from 240 in 2015). E3 is the only place ESA can connect policymakers and economic leaders with video game industry products and emerging technologies on that scale.
In 2017, E3 once again served as a complete ecosystem of activity important to the US video game industry throughout the year. In 2018, ESA will do it again June 12-14.