E3 For Arenanet

June 12, 2011 at 7:04 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 9 Comments
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There is little doubt in my mind that Arenanet underestimates the power of E3. They’ve never liked the convention, saying that they prefer to share Guild Wars 2 directly with gamers.

I’ve never really been convinced by that because, I mean honestly, just how many fans get to play Guild Wars 2 at these things? We’re talking about hundreds of people at best, many of whom won’t buy the game. What difference does it make, really?

Further, as I watched over Twitter and my twitterati (I’m so sorry) began to comment on what they saw, I realized that conventions today don’t require you to attend. More people watch these conventions live, watch videos, read articles, read interviews, and read previews than are actually physically there.

Arenanet gets to decide which conventions it goes to which is their right. I just think they should reconsider E3, as it certainly could contend with other conventions. Something Arenanet doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge.

I don’t think New York or Paris necessarily has much impact on gaming sites. I’m not sure ComicCon is the place for Arenanet’s interests either. While I understand their desire to reach consumers beyond the normal gaming channels, going to ComicCon with an MMO is futile. There are television actors, movie stars, fans of a plethora of entertainment genres, but a game that isn’t even out yet seems to me like it will be lost in the crowd. You can not compete with Gerry Alanguilan Arenanet! He’s just too famous!

The one and only.

I’m sure someone would say that they think gamescom is paramount when it comes to games conventions and I’m sure that’s true in Europe but in North America, it isn’t.

Can they honestly tell me that E3 wouldn’t pay off as well as some of these other conventions?

So maybe they’ve missed an opportunity or maybe it just doesn’t matter. Part of me understand what Arenanet is doing but part of me feels like it’s a mistake.

I also take note of a major MMO company who was also not at E3. Blizzard. Blizzard pretty much only does Blizzcon if I recall correctly. You’d think they’d want to take advantage of E3 as well. They’re going for something completely different, a cult of personality, of brand. In some way it seems like Arenanet is copying what Blizzard is doing by connecting with their fans but not limiting it to one, extravagant, pretentious, and costly event.

In any case, I doubt there will be a shift by Arenanet towards E3. Perhaps it’s the sheer cost, the sheer competition, the sheer ungodly atmosphere in Los Angeles.

What do I mean by ungodly?

Crap like this link and the video below. Seriously what is wrong with these people? But that’s a whole other post.



  1. I read an article back in the day that said NCSoft were fined heavily for making too much noise at their stand. Italso said something about sega making complaints. It may just be NCSoft policy to not go there anymore??

    • Just did some GoogleFu and found some articles about the fine. Basically looks like both SEGA and NCSoft were being jerks about the amount of sound each was making (ongoing feud between neighboring booths for 3 days) and NCSoft got fined because SEGA had more pull with the organizers, although it also looks like NCSoft was pushing right at the limits. NCSoft told E3 they could take their show and stuff it (not in so many words perhaps) and haven’t been back since. Shame adults tend act like children so often, or perhaps that should be poorly brought up children with no manners.

      • ahhh but you did the google fu and you didn’t link it! doh. i’m sure it was a couple different articles anyway… (aksimet is set to block comments with more than one link)

        • Yep, sorry, it was like 7 sites each with a bit of info, so I didn’t even try to link them.

    • ahhh i vaguely remember this from years ago but never thought it would be a factor in ncsoft going back. Arenanet so often repeats their mantra of “eng E3 isn’t important” that it becomes quite successful at making people forget about that I guess.

  2. It is a little baffling, since one would think any exposure is good exposure, especially at a convention like E3. Or maybe they feel they don’t need it. In any case, I agree with you, missed opportunity.

    • E3 is fantastic exposure. I’m sure it costs money to go to these things, and the above comments talking about their fine seems like it would blow over pretty quickly considering they’re mature adults. So i remain baffled.

  3. It’s indeed a missed opportunity as people WATCH these shows from home.

    I do not see nearly as much live coverage of PAX East/West/Center, especially not outside the USA.
    If they go that route, they should consider that they are not yet Blizzard big enough to host their own convention.

    I was once at Games Convention when it was still in Leipzig, and I could not understand the fuss. I found it even boring and the hordes of scantilly clad booth babes rather tasteless. One game was presented alongside a live body painting event, people probably forgot who was talking about what and rather focused on the chick.

    It would also have been nice for fans to see them at E3. They have a lot more fans than are coming to the conventions, and word of mouth alone is not that powerful.

    • It just seems like they’re really underestimating online audiences on this one. More people probably watch E3 online than the total number of people who will get to play gw2 at conventions before it comes out.

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