Up For Debate - Are physical announcements still relevant?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Mar 14, 2020 5:00 PM
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It’s the year 2020 and we have been struck by a worldwide pandemic, many of the public events have been cancelled and many more people have been sent home from work. It is quite clearly one of the largest events to occur in our recent history, and has had a huge impact on how our society has been handling the situation. As I mentioned just now, many public events have been cancelled, and for gaming this has made a huge impact...

It is by no secret to anyone now that E3 2020 has been cancelled. Prior to that announcement we discussed what certain companies might do in the wake of a cancellation, and how it would affect their game announcements.

In the age of the digital world, and the ever-rising popularity of streaming, physically attending certain events are becoming less and less common. Of course there is a certain thrill to attending a certain event live like a concert, or a gaming convention, but there are also some downsides. In that article I just mentioned, there was a quote from Jason Schreier, News Editor and writer: “if E3 doesn't happen, there's not much of a reason for every single company to hold their press conference on the same week. (Why force devs to crunch for a June demo if there's nowhere to show that demo to press and retailers?) It's very possible that publishers decide to plan their own events on their own schedules instead."

This all sparks the conversation of whether or not physical announcements are relevant anymore in this digital streaming age. Whilst E3 is a particularly well-known and highly regarded event where we would see some of the biggest announcements in gaming for that year revealed, it also meant that companies would be fighting for the biggest reveal, as it would then trump any announcement from anyone else at the convention.

Say for instance, hypothetically, that Grand Theft Auto 6 is announced at E3 2020; suddenly it will become the most talked about news and anything regarding any other new games, like Assassin's Creed: Ragnarok or a new Batman game for instance, would be washed away in the flurry of news and articles that would be released about GTA 6.

In addition, just like Schreier mentioned, companies would be time crunching in order to get a playable demo out for the public, or even just a short gameplay teaser, which might negatively impact the audience’s perception of the game well ahead of its release.

But even with that said, there’s a certain joy that comes when E3 is round the corner; speculations and theories, staying up late to watch the livestreams of each conference, the buzz of excitement that’s in the air when you’re actually there. 

There are many cases you can put forward in defence of physical announcements, but then there are also many negatives. 2020 will mark the first time that E3 has not happened in a year since it began and has had major ripple effects on the companies that were supposed to attend. How will this affect the future? I’m not sure and we can only wait to see how this all plays out, but I for one find it highly interesting to think about. But what about you? What do you think of this situation? Are you for or against physical announcements? Make your case in the discussion below!

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15:16 Mar-15-2020

YES CAUSE NEXT TIME TODD COMES TO STAGE TO LIE AGAIN AND WE CAN HIT HIM ON THE FACE PHYSICALLY

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10:47 Mar-15-2020

Relevant Yes. Necessary No.

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10:31 Mar-15-2020

Besides giving gamers a reason to step outside their dens, get burned in the sunlight, tolerate other people, take picture of cosplayers and spend money on merch? Not really.

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09:23 Mar-15-2020

No lol

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01:03 Mar-15-2020

For me iv no interest in them, i prefer to watch online, cause when rubbish games are shown i can do something else while i wait for the next one

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00:50 Mar-15-2020

I dunno about you, but even if a physical presentation is Obsolete it always spawned something to remember, anyone remembers where the 4koma guy memes spawned from? Reggie's body being ready and Keanu being Keanu? personally never ever had the chance to go to one or expect to have the resources to go, but knowing the aftermath or having a look of it made me feel like a kid in an amusement park.

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21:25 Mar-14-2020

Ironically enough, while Nintendo usually is that old grandpa who doesn't understand the internet and modern tech stuff, they did hit right in the center of target with their Nintendo Direct. And yes, I do think physical announcements are less relevant than ever. Since internet allows them to be watched from comfort of your home, even watch them latter if you miss anything.

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21:28 Mar-14-2020

Plus not to mention that this allows companies to talk directly to their customers. Which is becoming more and more important as more and more of the old media is doing worse job and putting bar lower and lower. Plus I never was big fan of big events in the first place, usually I just watched sum up by some Youtuber on what got announced. It took less time and got the job done.

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21:30 Mar-14-2020

But big presentations definitely did have function, as event to show new stuff, to show and give feeling of the community,... but today, most of that can be achieved by more direct presentation over internet or even e-mail. So I do think shows like E3 are less and less relevant. As there are other means to announce stuff.

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21:16 Mar-14-2020

I don't know about everyone else, but I would much rather watch gaming announcements and reveals from the comfort of my home.

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19:30 Mar-14-2020

E3 is a relic from the 90s and should be left behind in the internet age. People no longer need the song and dance(at times literally) that comes with the conferance. Nintendo already has proved it can be done online and successfully. Video games have become mainstream enough to not need the theatrics.

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17:56 Mar-14-2020

They are concentrated. They're big. They get talked about a lot, and marketing definitely loves all three. Are they necessary? Not in today's digital age, but singular announcements and smaller presentations just don't make such noise. Because those events are so big they can, and often are, picked by mainstream media too, which is, of course, a giant positive. Being the biggest reveal out of all the big one is a massive boon to marketing of the game.

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