This years E3 left an interesting impression on me. Last year it was my 2nd time to E3, but my 1st as an employee of a company that many hold in high regard, something that makes it a little easier to talk to people. There’s something about being an EB games employee (my 1st time out to E3) that doesn’t exactly make people want to get to know you further than your first name. Last year I went scrambling to see as many games as possible and ran into a bunch of folks I hadn’t seen in some time. This year I went looking for all of the people I already knew and to meet new ones and saw some cool games in the process.
Over the past 11 or so years I’ve met a lot of great people in the industry, either on forums, at various conventions or massive game midnight releases. It’s amazing to me how long people can stay in the industry and how some can just bounce around from company to company & then eventually find themselves in a new start up or just found their own company altogether. I really respect that aspect of the industry and the people who keep it going.
There are a lot of undesirable things about the industry that can be seen by anyone hanging out in any of the booths for long enough, the suits, aka the business behind the business. These are the people who decide to re-up a license for 5 more years and continually request quicker, cheaper output. They can cause issues that can wipe a developer off the face of the industry with one or two bad decisions. The analysts and investors who are so focused on the short term gain that they will pressure a company to churn out crap until there isn’t anything left to take advantage of.
Sometimes the suits do something great, and allow a company time and resources to develop a game for as much time as necessary, but often times it’s the need to create a franchise, trans-media brand it and then lament the eventual crash and burn after it fails to catch the interest of the public that one great game every few years tends to do. Now I’m not saying these are the people who do all that is bad in the industry, but I am saying that I just felt uncomfortable surrounded by so many of them at times.