Six things that no one tells you about E3


By Darryn Bonthuys on Friday, June 6, 2014

For starters, most people there stink like an Etihad flight

E3 is almost upon us, and if you’re already sick to death about hearing about it…Well then this article isn’t going to help you. There’s a lot about E3 that most folks don’t realise. To some, it’s a massive gaming orgy where the press get supposedly treated like kings and handed free consoles. But the truth behind E3 is far simpler and actually rather mundane at the end of the day.

Preparing is half the battle

E3's official wallet inspector

Right now, I’m sitting with a ton of paperwork all tucked away for E3. Getting ready to properly report on the show takes months of work, contact with local PR and distributors, scheduling and getting your ducks in a row.

Sure, you can get your E3 access and an invite or two easy enough. But that’s if you want to do a half-arsed job.

The L.A Convention Centre is ridiculously massive

YOU HAVE 20 SECONDS TO POST NICE STUFF ABOUT EA

The closest thing that we have to a local E3 is the rAge expo. That’s an event which has clearly outgrown the Vodacom Dome, but it still pales in comparison to the sheer size of E3. Honestly, comparing rAge to E3 is like watching a midget luchadore run around the Big Show at a WWE event.

E3 itself is divided into several sections. You’ve got two main showfloors in the centre, with a huge concourse connecting them. Each is many times larger than the Dome. And for some reason, you’ll find out that every appointment you have is split equally between the two, which means that you better pack running shoes as you Usain Bolt off to go see a trailer for a game that you just flew halfway around the world for.

There’s a reason why everyone loves Sony at the end of the press conference day

Hot dogs, get yer hot dogs and tell em that Sony made you eat a food dick!

Monday, is usually press conference day. Or as I like to call it, the Gauntlet. That’s a full day of hauling ass to four press conferences, starting with Microsoft at the Galen Center, hitting EA next in a 20 minute walk in the sweltering sun that usually involves standing outside and sweating your ass off, before cramming into the Orpheum Theater to see Aisha Tyler tower over every single one of the Ubisoft presenters.

Three down, one to go. By that time, it’s late afternoon, your fingers are broken husks of too much tweeting and photo-taking and you’re pretty miserable due to the fact that you’re starving. And then you reach the Sony venue.

And before you, lies dozens of food stalls, each handing out treats to the thousands of hungry journalists, bloggers and enthusiasts. Words alone cannot describe that joyous sensation of food that isn’t just great, but free. It does a massive job in spiking your energy up for the Sony event, while remaining a crafty method of generating some positive press for the PlayStation brand. After getting up at 5am to queue outside the Galen Centre for MS’s shindig, and then only getting time to eat again at about 6pm, Sony’s food is well appreciated.

And honestly, I’m easily swayed with free food.

There’s a massive swag culture present

To be fair, the swag helped cover my hideous face

You’ve seen it, you’ve heard about it and yes, E3 gives away a ton of free crap to attendees. Now, whether you go hunting for the stuff or not is a debate for another day, but I’m not going to say no to being handed a free T-shirt when I exit a meeting. Hell, the gaming industry has been dressing me since 2012 as it is.

But then you get the more insidious side of the gifts available at E3. Activision regularly gives away free Skylander figures, which are an exclusive taste of what’s to come later that year. And it’s a sought-after prize, with many of the figures winding up on eBay under a ludicrous asking price. Then you’ve got veritable lines of people, waiting to get a free T-shirt or a foam hat.

But nothing can ever beat Square Enix, who last year had a swag-stand set up. The key to obtaining one of their shirts/bags/hoodies, was to go stand in a least an hour long queue, play your way through a level and get a stamp on your swag card. Or answer a question correctly, related to the game. Get enough marks on your card, and you got a prize.

And by golly, it freakin’ worked. Square Enix had lines as far as the eye could see, filled with people playing away so that they could get their hands on that Final Fantasy shopping bag or a Murdered: Soul Suspect T-shirt.

Everything is rehearsed

This freakin' cat had an answer for everything

It should come as no surprise that in Los Angeles, everyone has a script. And probably some glossy headshots if you ask nice enough. From the massive press conferences all the way down to the show floor, the event is filled with all manner of folks who know just what to say.

This isn’t a bad thing, but it can make it challenging sorting PR-speak from actual details. And it’s something that everyone there is well-versed in.

It’s not a party

Unts unts unts unts rehydrate unts unts unts

Well, at least not for the writers who have to factor in time-zones. As much as we love our PR pals, we don’t have the luxury of heading out every night to abuse the company credit card and dine solely on In ‘n Out burgers.

The usual schedule involves waking up at the dawn of a sparrow fart and checking in with the crew back here, coordinating a plan of attack and checking that everything is charged for the day ahead. You’ll most likely have around 20 minutes at most to grab a breakfast, hit the Staples Center and find your way to your next appointment. This goes on for the entire day, as you run between venues, skirting with a time limit as you attempt to do everything that you possibly can.

Sure, it’s fun and one hell of an experience, but like we’ve always said when we do these trips, it’s not a party. Works does and always will come first, due to the responsibilities that we carry to our sponsors and most importantly, you guys.

You’ll always be our first priority, and we’ll be getting content up after a day of hard work, as you begin to wake up. But hell, it’s what gets me up in the mornings.

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Author:Darryn Bonthuys

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.
  • Admiral Chief Blackburn

    Lekker, geniet dit julle!

  • Langer

    And the best presentation of E3 2014 goes to Sony thanks to free food.

    • FoxOneZA

      Dude, never trust food that’s given to you for free.

      • b1nd3r

        Its sony……………(resident evil any1 i mean they only trying to make the movie more life like wats more life like than a zombie horde at a huge convention)

      • DrKiller

        Go eat some free Microsoft food, then we’ll talk again ;-)

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Hope you brought your Batgear.

  • Hammersteyn
    • KingKappie

      I lol’d do much

    • HvR – THE Average GAmer

      CAN I HEAR A HALLELUJAH!!!!

      • JayDiCee

        Halleluyerrrrrr

    • https://twitter.com/andreferhelst Aries

      this is so cool and funny

    • Skyblue

      Lol, very funny! But you’re still just a common, filthy $ony whore ;-)

      • Hammersteyn

        I will bend over for them any day as long as they they hold the course.

  • Rinceinantici

    Awesome insight man. I;ve been to conferences too (like the COP17 in Durban) and while it looks all ‘woooow’ it is frigging tiring!

  • Sk3tz0

    Kudos to the Journos and writer of LG that bring us all the awesome E3 News.

  • Consumer of Little Rabbits

    Good luck guys, fly and drive safe, cant wait for it all to begin really :)

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Darryn. Darryn. Darryn. DARRYN! Find out if the Witcher 3 Collectors Edition is coming to ZA. Right from the horses mouth. If they say no you must murder them.

  • Veeash Lala

    Wow nice! Like you said, it doesn’t sound fun but is one hell of an experience. Thanks guys, muchas gracias! If u ever feel like doing a scoop on what e3 feels like to your average Joe, take me :)

  • fred

    Sounds hectic , have a beer or 2 in between.

  • Cuan Robertson

    Shame man, such a hard life…. Poor little baby, wait, what is this??? The worlds smallest violin, just playing for you! :P ;) Enjoy it

    • Hammersteyn

      I’d trade places with him any day

      • Cuan Robertson

        Oh dear lord, are you sure??? You may have to wake up early, or move your feet to see and meet new people!!! :P

        • Hammersteyn

          Or work even 0_O, but it’s worth it for the experience alone. Especially for a journalist like Darryn

  • http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Sovereign Sovereign

    I couldn’t imagine going to E3, and dealing with the time zone issues. It’s an entire 2 hour time difference for me.

    • Josh Melton

      So Cute as always

      • http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Sovereign Sovereign

        Teehee!

  • JoeFoSho

    Cool

    • Josh Melton

      Yea Cool

  • Josh Melton

    Cool

  • Mabenito

    I like this. That’s what I told my parents (20yrs ago) when they said I’m wasting time with games. And I replied, imagine time wasted by people who make these games. “SWAAAAATTTTT”

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