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Should Coin-Op Arcade Games be a part of E3

Kevin Williams 2011-10-22

 

Editorial (Arcade Heroes): Should Coin-Op Arcade Games be a part of E3?
E3 (i.e. Electronic Entertainment Expo) is upon us once again this next week, where gamers, journalists, developers, publishers and their “booth babes” come together to show off the latest, greatest video games people will enjoy later in the year for home consoles and PC – all minus arcade games. The event is described by the show organizers as “the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games and related products” and arcades fit into that category, yet it is quite rare for a coin-op game to make an appearance at the show?


Kevin Williams • A great topic AH - we have run this issue in a number of Stinger Report features and seem to come to the opinion that the reason is three fold why there is this disconnect:

- Amusement Trade
As we have said numerous times the amusement executives currently leading the US scene are not the best people to run the promotional aspects of the amusement sector - they are a stayed and backwards looking group who have zone marketing skills. They also have vested interests looking at the revenue generated by AmuseExpo and previously AMOA-Expo rather than looking at promotion of the sector and products. It took years of hectoring to get them to drop AMOA as it was a detriment to the very people they claimed it served. They now hire a PR company to promote the industry at over $25k a pop that dose not have any ideas and has turned to the membership to supply their ideas?

Supporting E3 would not be viable for these amusement executives, as they would not see how they personally could benefit supporting this promotion opportunity, and they would also fight with the E3 team over a slice of the profits and generated interest.

- Consumer Trade
You would expect PR for companies like SEGA and Bandai Namco to want to support their amusement brethren but it dose not work like that - the PR for consumer games in the same company despise their amusement counterparts - we saw a good example of that when Bandai Namco USA PR executives claimed that Tekken6 did not have any amusement presence and there was no arcade business anymore (also repeated by Capcom recently). The whole PMBR situation was forced on Bandai Namco PR at E3 linked to the anniversary - and pressure from Namco JP - and still the PR team only allowed the game off-booth.

Now that the consumer game scene is in a defined slump they have far too much to worry about than encourage a possible competitive sector enter their show and dilute their audience focus. There is a concern that amusement 'distracts' the buying audience from 100% support - they would like to see amusement just die and for players to focus wholly on consumer gaming as the only interactive entertainment medium. Consumer PR only wants to 'borrow' from amusement - and even copies its styling in their promotion (see the latest Mortal Kombat PR pitch).

- Exhibition
These guys are very interested in expanding the event as the consumer game sector seems to suffer a slump and they need to keep momentum to survive hard times and dwindling exhibitor investment. They added a Retro-Arcade zone a few years back but this was badly perceived by exhibitors who felt it detracted from their business.

It would be difficult to trying and sell the idea to a dwindling consumer sector that they will have to compete with the mixed message that would come from an appearance of machines from a industry that many had written off. Especially the issue that amusement executives "business skills!" would greatly clash with the professionalism and focus of the E3 organizers.


Finally, there is a way that we could see amusement (or more rightly described Digital Out-of-Home interactive entertainment (DOE)) at E3 in the future as the trade separates itself from the tired and incompetent trade and looks to a new and fresh approach to publicize this sector to the people that pay our wages!

Above artical was reproduced from website: linkedin.com Arcade Industry Group

 

 

 

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