E3 conference press : The show must go on
“You’re breath-taking”. It was past midnight on this June’s Sunday when Keanu Reeves literally ignited the web with this little phrase, shouted to a fan in the public who had himself told to Keanu that he was breath-taking. This situation symbolises all by itself the implications of the modern press conferences at the E3, the world biggest video games forum.
The actor, whose presence was kept secret, was on stage at the big Microsoft stand to announce the release date of Cyberpunk 2077, a much anticipated futuristic open world game of the polish studio CD red Project, in which he appears as the character with the second screen time.
The diktat of the audience by buzz
The unbelievable buzz of this appearance marks a successful E3 press conference for the studio and for Microsoft, whose stage hosted the show. The show is the right word for an exercise that the press uses to qualify nearly all of the business year of a studio. Indeed, the game’s quality is not the only thing that matters, the buzz and the public exposure are so important that the industry biggest players don’t hesitate to borrow the aesthetic code of the famous Ted X conference. One man show, handling of abstract concept, large digression or personal anecdote, there are plenty of similarities.
Sony, the big absentee
This 2019 edition of E3 was however marked by the absence of one of the biggest actors of the industry : Sony. For the first time since 1995, the Japanese company didn’t take part in the Event. As recently as last year the studio was hailed as the most successful E3 announcer. Shawn Layden, Sony’s chairman, has stated that they weren’t sufficiently ready to take part in 2019 E3. The company preferred to leave the field clear for Microsoft rather than appear lacking next to the big hit. In 6 words : better no buzz than bad buzz.