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Big Small Big

E3 is the game industry trade show that grew immense shortly after its establishment, and then suddenly decided that it wanted to be be a smaller, more business focused event. I assumed that they had absorbed the lesson of Comdex and wished to avoid becoming another monster trade show meltdown. This is a decision that only an association event could take. No for-profit producer could walk away from revenue of this scale.

I assumed that we were going to see an exciting New Model–that they had a great idea for being a smaller event. There are a lot of cool potential here–if you were going to launch a hybrid, networked, technology-enabled event, this would be the place. Apparently not. They’re going back to being a trade show again. I hope they’ve noticed that it’s 2009.

I did a little work on Game Developer when it was being acquired by Miller Freeman. Game Developer is more business focused than E3. This is a weird industry sector. They have to put a lot of effort into keeping teenage gamers off the show floor, while making sure that teenage game development professionals (some very successful) still have access to the event.

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