Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010

E3 Expo Revenues Tripled in 2009 Thanks to LACC Return

April 15, 2011 -

Entertainment Software Association tax documents reveal that the return of the Electronic Entertainment Expo to Los Angeles from Santa Monica managed to net the group $12 million. From 2006 to 2009, the Entertainment Software Association changed the format of its annual trade show several times before settling on its current format.

In 2007 the group attempted to downsize the show and moved it from the Los Angeles Convention Center to nearby Santa Monica. While it made the show smaller, it also raised membership due and show fees, which agitated a number of publishers. In 2008, the ESA returned the show to the LA Convention Center, but kept it small. This resulted in reduced revenues for the show that year - from $3.49 million in 2006 to $3.24 million in 2007. Membership fees that year were not enough to offset that shortfall; ESA dues raised $15.22 million in 2007, down from a high of $17.41 million the year prior.

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MIA: Apple at E3

June 21, 2010 -

The latest edition of LA Times technology blog makes a valid point about Apple's presence at E3: their really wasn't one. No big presser, no games on the show floor, and very few third-party titles being shown at any booths. That doesn't mean that game publishers and developers aren't developing the games, it just means that they apparently didn't think it was all that important to show them off, I guess.

Two big publishers - EA Mobile and Disney Mobile had small presences by the Times' accounting but they were mere afterthoughts to spaces dedicated to games like TRON, Battlefield, Medal of Honor and Epic Mickey. But it really brings in to focus the fact that Apple doesn't "seem to" care all that much about gaming.

Disney Mobile sees the iPad and iPhone market growing and wants to be in the space: "In their overall budget we're much smaller, but I think it's something that Disney really sees as big and growing," Disney Mobile's Tom Smith told the LA Times. "They want to be there. They want to be showing all of these great brands on these great devices."

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Nintendo 3DS Rumor: The Ability to Copy or Install Games

June 18, 2010 -

According to a report in Andriasang - citing Japanese business newspaper Nikkei - the Nintendo 3DS will allow users to install games on its internal storage media. While it wasn't stated in the report that some type of digital rights management would be a part of that equation, it is probably safe to draw such an conclusion assuming it's all true. Is this Nintendo's way of dealing with whatever R4 device is made to copy games on the 3DS?

According to Nikkei, 3DS users will be able to copy or install 3DS software to internal memory. This allows for multiple games to be stored in the system and gives users the ability to switch between them by selecting from the system's main menu. The paper goes on to say that this feature makes it so that users won't have to swap cartridges to play games.

Naturally all of this is unconfirmed by Nintendo. We'll follow this story as it develops..

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E3 2010 Attendance, E3 2011 Details

June 17, 2010 -

The Entertainment Software Association announced today the next exotic location of the E3 Expo 2011 and released attendance figures for the 2010 E3 Expo rapping up today in Los Angeles. As you can probably already guess E3 2011 will take place in Los Angeles. Yeah, that was a real cliffhangar for everyone.. The event will take place June 7-9, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

On a more interesting note, the 2010 E3 Expo featured approximately 300 exhibitors from over 90 countries and an attendance of 45,600, according to the ESA - up slightly from 41,000 in 2009. No nerd flu was reported and no one stole any source code this year, so all in all a wonderful show for everyone.

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Sony Admits PSPgo Shortcomings

June 16, 2010 -

In an interview with VG247, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president, CEO and CFO Andrew House admitted that the company underestimated PSP owners' attachment to physical media (UMDs).

He also said that the "day all games go digital, like on iPhone, is hard to determine." His admission relates to the PSPgo, which eliminated support for PSP UMDs at launch and relied more heavily on digital downloads via the PlayStation Network.

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Best Buy Makes Used Game Move, Launches @Gamer

June 16, 2010 -

Amidst a litany of other new initiatives the company plans, electronics retailer Best Buy announced this week that it plans to roll out a used game trade-in program later this summer. Consumers will be able to bring in those used games and trade them for Best Buy gift cards that can be used to buy "anything in the store."

Trade-ins will take place at your local Best Buy's service desk -- and in some stores - "dedicated Trade-In desk within the gaming department." Best Buy also plans on launching a program at BestBuy.com that will allow gamers to get "estimates" on trade-in values and allow them to mail their games (for free) to Best Buy and receive a Best Buy gift card 7-14 days later.

Naturally, Best Buy will also sell those used games that it buys, which will all be backed by the company's return policy.

Best Buy also revealed details on "@Gamer: The Official Gaming Magazine of Best Buy." Here's more from Best Buy:

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Clowns, Lies and Twisted Metal

June 15, 2010 -

Journalist Kyle Orland doesn't like liars, so he was a bit disappointed when Eat, Sleep, Play's David Jaffe debuted Twisted Metal for the PS3 at the Sony E3 press conference. Why would he be disappointed with that? Well, on several occasions Jaffe went out of his way to to emphatically state that that his company was not working on a Twisted Metal Game for PS3. Some would argue that he went out of his way to say that, even though it wasn't the truth. In other words he lied to everyone.

In a blog post on his The Game Beat Blog Orland recounts what Jaffe said in the past, what he said today, and why it should matter to journalists: Here's two choice paragraphs from that blog post:

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Devil in the Details: EA's Gun Club

June 15, 2010 -

Yesterday EA announced the Gun Club, a rewards program that will give fans of its shooter games special perks like early access to betas, news, inside information from game developers, in-game content unlocks, and early access to demos. The program launched yesterday and begins with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and the Medal of Honor game.

EA says that this new rewards program shows appreciation to fans for their loyalty and adds value to the "entertainment experience."

At first glance you might think this whole program is free, and it is value-added if you buy EA's games new, but if you buy them new it will be a lot like BioWare's Cerberus Network. In short, if you want access to it from a used copy of EA's upcoming shooters it will cost you extra.

Here are the details from the "terms and conditions" section of the Gun Club FAQ:

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Joystiq Giving Away Microsoft E3 Freebies

June 14, 2010 -

Update: Bitmob's Dan Hsu will be giving away his Xbox 360 Slim to the Bitmob community soon.  Check out Hsu's Twitter feed for details (thanks Pete).

Original Story:If you happened to catch Microsoft's E3 press conference you may have heard that Microsoft was giving away the new Xbox 360 slim away to journalists that attended the event. Thankfully sites like Joystiq - if they are allowed to - will not be keeping many of these new systems. Instead, according to this post, they will give away as many of these system as they can "as soon as they can."

While this is great for fans that enjoy free things (who doesn't?) it is also great for journalism and shows that, while readers may not always agree with Joystiq's reporting methods, they at least have the integrity that journalists should have. As for the fellow who stood up and cheered when Microsoft said it would be giving attendees of the press event a free Xbox 360 slim: you should be embarrassed.

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Should E3 Be Opened Up to the Masses?

June 14, 2010 -

File this one under "didn't we just have this argument?" But what the hell, with E3 kicking off this week and companies like Microsoft, Ubisoft and EA holding press conferences today, now is as good a time as any to argue about opening up E3 to consumers. That's just what Dan Ackerman of C|Net does this morning in an article entitled "A modest proposal: Open E3 to the public."

Ackerman glosses over the recent shaky history of the event - where many wondered if the trade show would survive at all - and how it has moved from place-to-place, how it is affected in the age of a well connected populace through live blogs and video feeds, and how the whole "doing business and making deals" has been trumped by making news. Here's the main thrust of his argument:

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