With so much attention given to livestreams and Nintendo Direct-like presentations, many think E3 is obsolete. But indie devs still need the expo.
Indies don't need it as much as some may think. Just look at the Guerilla Collective. Indies are literally coming together to put on a show. I'm not saying Guerilla Collective gives them more exposure than E3. But the fact of the matter this is the indies showing they don't have to be dependent it. Plus with the way getting videos and gameplay shown on the internet is so easy. These things in culmination are making E3 less important for even the indies
E3 is pretty expensive for most indies. The ones that do go, usually have publisher backing. If journalists cared that much about indies, I'm sure any indie dev would be happy to add those journalists to their press release lists, or take on interviews or be fine with journalists following their games. But, articles like this are more so the journalists can make a plea that E3 is important so they can have something to go to to justify their place in the world, because doing real journalistic work where you network outside of an event is too much work for them apparently.
Let's be honest here less than 1% of indies are going to get on anyone's show floor at E3. And those same lucky 1% will just get shown at a show like the PlayStation event all the same.
I agree with Hakuoro. Not just that, but the bottom line here is that the only people that feel like E3 is needed are the people that work in gaming journalism. Bigger companies feel they don't need E3. Indies are starting to put together their own shows (i.e. Guerilla Collective). And for majority of fans, E3 was always a "seen on tv" or "see streaming on the internet" affair anyway. So this only truly affects gaming journalists
The cost to even be on the show floor is often more than it costs to make some of the indie games shown at E3 through conferences, or with publisher backing. There are plenty of outlets to get the news out about indies, but journalists don't really seem to care about them that much. They don't draw in the clicks by reporting on them, so they tend to be side items buried within a sea of click bait. Some sites do give them the attention they deserve, but they are the bigger sites like IGN or GameSpot, who don't rely as much on click bait, and have the connections and know how to reach out to indie devs, or anyone in the industry. The sad truth is, for the most part, almost all indie games on console that are successful, have some sort of publisher backing, and that publisher backing takes almost all the profits from those devs, and the devs don't get paid until all money is paid back to the publisher through the sale of the game. Indie development is a hard thing, and EA, Ubi, Activision, and pretty much every major publisher has their hands in the cookie jar. Even Sony and MS are there with their support.
I published an article a few days ago with a similar sentiment. The exposure that E3 grants smaller studios is invaluable to them. Great article.
So, if you have the means to publish these articles, why aren't you actively going after these games to publish articles about them? I take a dim view on the plea for E3 to be a thing by journalists when they more often than not ignore these games that are shown at E3, rarely pursue them beyond a basic intro article, and maybe one site snags an interview with these devs. Most of the press today can't even get past 5% of what is shown that is major, to report anything worthwhile on the other 95% of major games with actual marketing budgets that is also shown. E3 at the end of the day, ends up being more about who managed to do it best at the show. It's a d*ck measuring contest between the console makers, where everything else is just fodder and either the most important thing in the world, or completely irrelevant. I don't know how you handle these things, but if your best resource to learn about indie games being developed is E3, then you're doing something wrong. Want to know what's being worked on, just look up any number of GDC's, local and national, and you will find indie devs in spades. Look up angel funding programs, and they will more than happily connect you with their projects to get the word out. Call up the indie side of any major publisher, or send them an email, and they'll happily send you the info. You can't claim that E3 is important to these indie devs, when more exposure is gotten from the most basic storefront page on any given digital game service, and indie devs are still having to either team up with publishers who take a good chunk of their money, or pay publications to write articles about their games. I've been on the indie side of things, and from what I gathered from the press, when it comes to the games I've worked on, they don't give a damn, and the time you spend talking about your game, or making press releases for them is mostly wasted and you could get a better result with a basic social media campaign and a good trailer.
I agree with rain here. It's like I said two days go. Majority of the games that are indie at E3 barely get any coverage from the game journalist anyway.. So saying the indies need then venue is nonsense when these same journalist give them no love. Every article like this has literally been written from someone in game journalism. One of the authors even admitted as such in a similar article yesterday (in the story you submitted yesterday gazebyte). I will say again what I said in your article. Game journalists aren't needed anymore. Rainslacker being a developer is even telling you first hand what we all see. These articles are just game journalists trying to justify their positions in hopes to have job security.
@Lodoss I don't mean to imply that events such as E3 should go away, just that the notion that it helps indie devs isn't true. Indie devs can't afford to attend the show floor at E3, and E3 organizers take a dim view of indie devs just walking the floor soliciting journalists to talk about their games if they don't have floor space. Almost every indie dev at E3 is sponsored by some dev, and is usually there with their part of the show floor. My issue overall though is that journalists do seem to make it out that without E3, we won't get coverage, and to me, that speaks more to the journalists inability to make contacts outside these shows, despite there being numerous avenues for publisher relations, and indie devs are usually very open to talking to the press if they are cold-called(or emailed). But, in my experience, which isn't 100% the case I know, such effort to make press packets for a few websites is mostly a waste of time. Making a general one to send out to a bunch of press outlets is sometimes helpful though. Some indie devs make their own shows, which they show during the E3 stuff. They plan a show at some off time when no other thing is going on, and from what I can tell, that tends to get more attention than a few sporadic articles for a website that wants some filler content and just puts together a throw away piece. I don't blame the websites for not spending as much time on them, because I think many in the community aren't that interested in them....as evidenced by the dead forums when they're posted here....but some people do see it, and that is at least something. Discovery is the hardest part in selling an indie game, and that's why publishers are usually helpful for indie devs. Unfortunately, publishers take a rather large cut of the revenues, even if they don't invest much in return. But they increase discovery significantly.
It might help them. It seems like MS and Sony lately have been getting timed exclusivity deals from some of them in exchange for advertising during the respective events and probably some money.
Indies get better advertisement with Youtube, Twitch, Mixer, and word of mouth. Half the indies don't really show up at E3 or don't have it in the budget to show up at E3 and use trailers instead.
I been watching E3 since the very first one, back in 1995 when my friend had VHS tapes of it. 95,96,97 etc until they made DVDs of it you can buy :D
Demos would be more effective. Every indie on the 360 had a demo, many full games had demos. I bought a ton of games because of this simple hands on approach. A demo on the PlayStation store has much more exposure than e3. Platforms can do much more to promote good content, I agree. It’s also too honest for most I believe. In order for mandatory demos to benefit you actually have to create a good game.
I don’t even like indie games anymore and even I disagree with this statement, thanks to social media any small dev can market their game and any gaming website desperate for clicks will gladly help market your game.
Social media doesn't always take off, even if you have a great game. It does take some finesse, and maybe even some connections, to get the social media ball rolling to good effect. However, yes, there are sites that will be desperate for hits, but even big gaming sites will cover indie games they find interesting. The important thing is to make it easy for them. For big sites, you have to have a good press junket, and write press releases which are quick and easy to read. Something the site can just throw up pretty quick. It helps if you know what format they use for their videos....assuming you have a video....so they don't have to encode it, but usually you can keep high quality images available. Demos help, but more often than not, they won't get played. There are a lot of good books or information out there on how to make an effective press release for online sites. Send it out to every site, big and small. Small sites are mostly worthless, but sometimes you get lucky. Big site with millions of readers can get exposure, and if you couple that with a strong social media campaign, E3 becomes pointless, or you get invited by one of the console makers to show off at their conference.
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