Electronic Entertainment Expo 1999
"I'll Be Back"
by Jim Bennett (May 1999)
Like the legendary action hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger's line, "I'll be back", the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has returned home to L.A., from Atlanta, with a vengeance. The show's senior management has commented that "Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world and as such, is a natural venue for the world's largest interactive entertainment trade show." "The expansion of the LA Convention Center, its closeness to the large West Coast creative interactive community and cost efficiencies [that] make L.A. an excellent choice."
According to Douglas Lowenstein, President of E3's Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), over 2600 titles will be represented covering a broad spectrum from action/adventure to education and strategy development. My first impressions from the show floor was that everyone from the West Coast creative and production communities were at E3. The scale of the exhibits, staging of the demonstrations, buzz, and business activity was impressive. Arnold would have been proud to see such a level of physical and mental activity, as I observed on the show floor.
The six+ billion dollar video game industry is continuing to grow rapidly because of PC growth and inexpensive hardware systems such as sub thousand dollar PCs as well as PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. The large entertainment corporations are increasing their presence with celebrity appearances by Steven Spielberg along with a wide variety of music groups. Coupling these elements with innovative multi-company cross promotions and partnerships, along with general market appeal for interactive entertainment the potential for massive growth and profits is almost unlimited for those companies that do it right. While the violent aspects of video games has been over reported, all the important market segments of gamers (power players, casual gamers, women, family and children) are large and are steadily growing.
© 1999 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.