Highland Games: A Good Industry Mix
Leipzig was an absolute dream for anyone seeking a Hungarian distributor; no doubt it was a fine day out for the locals, but for anyone who had already been to E3 or any publisher-specific open days it was a vast waste of time.
Clearly, Eastern Europe is an important and growing market, and it’s absolutely right that geographically interesting areas are graced by visiting caravans of game publishers. But that is a long way short of the media profile this event attracted.
Okay, not everyone in the industry can afford to travel from Europe to E3, so if you really needed to see those dusty demos in situ, as opposed to down a broadband pipe, then it was useful.
Also, in the actual absence of E3, Leipzig might take on more gravity in years to come, but we doubt that. It’s too close to TGS, too late in the year for the U.S retail calendar, and too far from the people who really matter (U.S retailers, developers and media).
After much foot slogging and a half dozen or so press conferences we can faithfully report that the games we saw at E3 have mostly progressed as one might hope, while the actual big news conspicuously failed to materialize.
This was especially bad news for those media outlets that assured us to expect Wii price announcements and awe-inspiring PS3 demos. Not entirely by coincidence, the most enthusiastic proponents of Leipzig are based in Europe; in terms of game industry power-centers, very much the third continent.
Nevertheless, as Next-Gen has argued before, there is room for tightly tailored events that serve a useful purpose without being puffed up into something they are not.