Activision Blizzard is joining rival Electronic Arts on the sidelines of this year?s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The video game industry?s biggest publisher announced earlier this week that it would not have a booth on the convention floor. Selected titles from their games lineup, such as this year?s Call of Duty, will still be present at the booths of other companies. The official blog post on the CoD website reads:
?In June, we?re going to be at E3 showcasing gameplay from Infinity Ward?s ambitious new game. We?re looking forward to sharing exciting new details about the next great Call of Duty game in partnership with our friends at PlayStation. We?re proud to be participating in this premier video game event, but won?t have an Activision booth on the show floor.?
Regardless, the gaping hole left by Activision?s non-participation in the event is a huge blow when coupled with EA?s similar decision. In January, Electronic Arts announced that it was skipping the event entirely. Instead, the company is showcasing its upcoming games at their own event called EA Play, which will be held just across the Los Angeles Convention Center before and during the early days of E3. This leaves E3 without the industry’s two biggest names.
Smaller publishers like WarGaming and Disney Interactive also recently announced that they were forgoing?the conference. This has many questioning whether huge events like E3 are still necessary in the age of social media and instant communication. With social media and livestreaming, it?s become easier than ever for publishers and developers to reach their fans. This reduces the need for huge and costly media presentations and convention booths.
Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications at the Entertainment Software Association, told Gamesbeat that the show will go on, assuring fans that there will still be plenty to look forward to at this year?s conference.
?E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It?s still the place to be. We have a record number of press briefings this year in the ramp to opening the show. That?s an indicator that folks recognize how valuable a launch pad it is.?