The ESA is a headless chicken and no one knows what to do with E3

Also the ex-CEO was a huge shitbag, according to a brilliant and brutal piece of journo by Brian Crecente.

The short version is that Mike Gallagher, Dubya cabinet alum and man with no prior connection to the industry, parachuted into the position via Republican lobbyist-industrial complex and ran the place like a petty despot, which is to say “meets minimum standards for success but at great human cost”. At Trump’s election, he made a hard right turn and made such memorable decisions as loudly declaring support as an organization for the Trump Tax Scam Bill, frantically rejiggering E3 into PAX-but-worse, and saying lootboxes aren’t gambling nopenope lalala can’t hear you.

The whole piece is a fascinating read and I’m surprised it didn’t get more play. I only found out about it when Brad mentioned it on the bombcast.

The new CEO is a career corporate lawyer who is promising big changes but is just talk so far. E3 is in a weird spot now and it’s only getting weirder. The government advocacy aspect of the ESA is all over the place and they’ve been bad about labor protections too. My gut reaction is maybe to just burn it all down? Am I wrong on this?


Nah you’re right.

I don’t even get why people pay attention to E3 anymore except to dunk on it here and there, and even that has grown old. It’s a genuinely draining thing to experience now, because what it is at the core (a big ad for investors) is so nakedly obvious now.


I’ll paraphrase and altar an Errant Signal tweet about the game awards show and say “I’m cynical enough to realize that E3 is a giant mess and isn’t really good, but Naive enough to look at big, open to the public gaming showcases and think its would be fun and harmles in a general sense”

So yeah, burn it all down.

There will always be a weird part of me that misses the e3’s of old, but only for entirely nostalgia based reasons. I still remember sitting in a computer lab as a high school sophomore staring at the stills of Metroid Prime and how hard it was to wait to get home and watch the actual video. It was kind of fun having a big, dumb event that everyone was focused on so you could speculate and discuss ad nauseam.

I thought about it for a long time, but I can’t articulate an argument for E3 that doesn’t just sound like PAX. And on a larger level, getting excited for what is essentially a week-long commercial is some extremely dark late capitalism stuff.


E3 and pretty much every other mainstream gaming con needs to die. There was a time where I thought that the various PAX’s could basically replace the E3 marketing machine, but that was before PA guys showed their whole asses.

Anything convention that manages to organise a critical mass of people from the industry is either 1) due to the forces of capital trying to drum up hype for next product of their AAA meat grinders, 2) because it’s centered on a handful of gaming personalities which is always Very Good and never goes wrong, or 3) is a developer/industry convention that isn’t really for the public.

Two out of three probably don’t need to exist, and third wouldn’t need to if capital didn’t jealously guard its insights and learnings from competition unless that sharing of information can be monetised and centralised under an industry lobby.

I kinda like E3 for being the big dumb, weird thing it ultimately is, but it’s real hard to come up with a reason for it’s existence.

Same here. Despite all my better judgement, I still enjoy E3 as a cultural event, but I think I’d only be a little disappointed if it went away.

I’d definitely miss the Giant Bomb afterparty stream though