Scope out a few of the game industry news stories from the last week week below, hand-picked from across the world of games. This week’s focus on several events and how they’ve adjusted to digital-only adaptations: CES, Comic-Con@Home, and E3.
CES to be the First Big Tech Tradeshow to go Digital Next Year
Source: Business Insider
CES 2021 (Image: Consumer Technology Association)
“CES, the largest tech conference of the year, will be canceled in 2021 and not held in its usual Las Vegas, the Consumer Technology Association announced on Tuesday, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the event will be held digitally.
“With the growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it is not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” the CTA said in a statement.”
CES 2021 is going all-digital for 2021, which may be a relief for some would-be vendors and attendees, but the loss of physical traffic will definitely be a hit to the Las Vegas economy and impact how many products will be rolled out for next year. But, as of now, 2022 is planned to be a live event.
Comic-Con@Home Appears to Badly Underperform
SDCC@Home (Image: San Diego Comic Convention)
How can one of the biggest pop culture conventions lose almost all the buzz and hype (at least going by the metrics that were measured) its known for? Perhaps by simply going all-digital:
“According to data from social media analytics firm ListenFirst, tweets that mentioned Comic-Con@Home were down 95% from 2019’s live convention — just 93,681 tweets over the five-day event, against 1,719,000 tweets in 2019. Tweets about the top 10 TV events were similarly down 93%, and tweets about the top 5 movie panels were down a shocking 99%.”
2021 is planned to be a live event.
Has E3 Become Unnecessary?
E3 2020 (Los Angeles) (Image: Entertainment Software Association)
Some companies may be A/B testing whether they need E3 to reach the press, buyers, and other key players, based on the way 2020 plays out:
“2020 in particular may have finally convinced us that we don’t necessary need E3… at least in the conventional sense that is.
Why now though? What’s changed? For starters, the world. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of events everywhere — not just in the gaming industry — 2020 has therefore been the first year where we have no traditional E3.
That means the first year where we can actually see the ramifications of not having an event on the press and social coverage created for publishers and their products. Up until now, any case built around proving the diminishing importance of E3 would have been based on a theoretical condition since it’s never actually missed a year going all the way back to 1995.”
The Next-Gen Role Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass May Take
Source: The Verge
Microsoft Xbox Series X console (Image: Microsoft)
When is a next-generation console launch software and not necessarily hardware? Perhaps it may be Microsoft’s story with the Xbox Series X (and Xbox Games Pass) launches later this year:
“Microsoft’s (Editor’s note: E4G link: July reveal) event featured a solid showcase for the future of Xbox and Xbox Game Studios content, but it did little to convince me why I should buy an Xbox Series X. Instead, it made it clear that the Xbox Series X is just one of many ways you can play Xbox games, and that Microsoft’s true next-gen focus is Xbox Game Pass.
I’ve been writing for months about the importance of Xbox Game Pass and Microsoft’s strategy to leverage the subscription service to reach many millions more Xbox players than traditional consoles do. Microsoft wants to build the Netflix for video games, and early indications show that its bet is already starting to pay off with 10 million subscribers. Some developers are also reporting increases in game sales and more players, and Microsoft has some big plans ahead with xCloud for Game Pass — particularly around the ability to instantly play games or demos.”
Electronic Arts May be Eyeing Warner Brothers Games for Acquisition
EA (Image: Electronic Arts)
It looks like AAA publishers are not idling in the strange year that is 2020, with some possibly making moves to pivot, expand or acquire new talent, games, or technology.
“Recent reports that Warner Bros.’ parent company is looking to sell the gaming unit name-dropped EA – among others – as a potential buyer, and you can bet this question came up.
EA COO Blake Jorgensen fielded one such question, clarifying the company’s approach to acquisitions. Jorgensen opened by saying that EA is always looking at studios up for sale, but that he wouldn’t be able to specifically comment on the matter of Warner Bros. He was, however, eager to say that EA wants to go after talent rather than games.”
Why Collecting Games is More Difficult During the Pandemic
Source: Screen Rant
Classic games and games brands (Image: Reno Laithienne on Unsplash)
Beginning, or expanding deeper into, retro games collection has become more of a challenge as more people are spending time at home and spending more money on at-home hobbies, thus increasing demand (and prices):
“Retro video game prices, like those of Nintendo’s
GameCube and SNES, have risen dramatically since March 2020 – by $100 or more for certain games. The price jumps point to an increasing number of retro game collectors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as social distancing draws people into nostalgia and online shopping.”
Do you have interesting news to share, or something coming up that would also fit into this regular feature? Let us know!