EM explores the evolution of the renowned b-to-b-to-c show
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is one of the video gaming industry’s biggest weeks, bringing together the largest game publishers and studios in Los Angeles to announce their plans for the upcoming year. E3 was traditionally an “industry” show, centered around large press conferences in which publishers laid out their plans. But in 2017, E3 expanded its audience by selling a limited number of passes to consumers, starting a new era for the show in which exhibitors were courting both industry and consumer audiences on the show floor for the first time. Now in its second year of mixed audience marketing, we wondered how companies would handle the growing number of consumers in the audience. Here, we take a closer look at the handful of companies that stood out with remarkable booth designs and smart audience engagements (plus one brand that didn’t do much of either).
With perhaps the most popular esport title of the moment, Epic came into the show with plans to show its game Fornite in a big way. The Battle Royale title has quickly gained momentum with players around the world and it draws on the star power of many streamers and celebrities who play the game. The game features fun characters and a relaxed style of play, lending itself to a “party” atmosphere. Epic’s booth on the show floor brought the game to life with scenic elements modeled after the game’s building materials and landscape. In addition to game play stations, players could participate in a pair of green screen experiences putting them into the game. They could also “ride” a llama in a twist on a bucking bronco and could pose with weapons from the game. The entire experience was bathed in bright color, light and music from the game, making the atmosphere an immersive dip right into the playful environment of the digital game (Exhibit Design: Freddie Georges Production Group).
Epic also hosted a major off-site tournament called the Fornite Pro/Am. The event was held at a nearby soccer stadium, accommodating 100 players and thousands of fans, and was streamed live to a global audience (Production: PRG).
Sony is one of the largest exhibitors at E3 in its role as both manufacturer of the PlayStation hardware platform and as a publisher of games through its studios. Keeping in mind that the central feature of most E3 booths are game-play stations, Sony upped the ante with a huge theater that produced content to cater to the industry audience while simultaneously serving as a platform for content that was broadcasted outside of the booth. The theater stage was nearly 200 feet long and included massive screens that played host to live content. The booth design incorporated large-scale photo marquis displays of key …read more