The E3 gamers' convention is a bit like Toys R Us on steroids

Earlier this week more than 70,000 gamers, journalists and brands took over the Los Angeles Convention Centre for the 21st Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3.

Never mind burning the candle at both ends; blowtorch it, writes Mark Stringer
Never mind burning the candle at both ends; blowtorch it, writes Mark Stringer
If you've never been, the best way to describe it is like Toys R Us on steroids.  

At times you're unsure whether you're at a film premier, an adult show or have actually managed to stumble into the gaming convention you were expecting.

The world's biggest brands use the four-day show to unveil their latest and most exciting products. Journalists descend from around the globe and every PR professional works tirelessly to ensure that their titles are included in wrap-ups in every national and specialist title. 

This might be about entertainment, but this year it was also definitely about doing business, and big business. 

This year was much more about evolution than revolution, so what’s likely to be big over the next few months?

There was stiff competition for the 'Best in Show' accolade; the established gaming hardware players all dressed to impress with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, alongside the top games publishers of Ubisoft, EA and Activision, all vying for journalist time, but it is difficult to say if there was a clear winner.

YouTube announced it was going to launch a new gaming platform. Not the most shocking announcement perhaps but given the increasing value brands are placing on this rapidly growing new media, this is something that none of us will be able to ignore in the months to come.

A huge number of brands focused on remakes, sequels and franchise saturation. 

This has been met with some interesting feedback from the die-hard gamers, but given the strength and popularity of the likes of Star Wars, Call of Duty, Lego, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mad Max and the consistent demand for these properties, it seems logical that gaming brands have adopted the film industry approach.

This year’s conference showed a refreshing change of pace for gender equality, with more women presenting brands on-stage and in games than in years past. 

For a predominantly male dominated industry, this is a major step forward. There were still more queues for the men's toilets though.

As expected, there were more VR headsets on show than you could shake a joystick at. 

They've been around for a while but at E3 it felt like we were on the verge of them going from a bit of niche novelty to something that over the next few months will become the norm. Let's just hope brands do it more successfully than Google Glass did though.

In an incredibly savvy sales move, toy-to-game integration was absolutely huge for almost everyone. Holding appeal for both gamers and collectors, these relatively low cost, yet perceived high value toys are certain to top Christmas lists for kids and adults all over the globe. 

The move to accessorize games is an interesting one and it seems like this trend is set to go from strength to strength in the months to come.

E3 is a crazy few days, where you’re expected to not just burn the candle at both ends but blowtorch it. It's going to be interesting to see how these announcements are taken when they land in the real world in the coming months.

Mark Stringer is the founder of PrettyGreen

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