E3 Could Become a Full-Blown Fan Event, With Less News and More Panels

E3 Could Become a Full-Blown Fan Event, With Less News and More Panels

E3 could end up looking more like Comic-Con.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is when all the major video game publishers and developers get together to announce the biggest games and news for the year. But recently, the show has changed from an industry trade show to something closer to a fan event. And Sony's Shawn Layden says E3 will need to become closer to something like Comic-Con to stay relevant.

In an interview with CNET, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden explained Sony's decision to skip E3 this year. Layden says it comes down to how E3 is currently in a limbo state where it's not really about retailer relations as it was in the past. "So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity," says Layden. "The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it."

In fact, Layden says E3 should embrace the fan side of the show, eschewing the more business side of E3. "We are progressing the conversation about, how do we transform E3 to be more relevant? Can E3 transition more into a fan festival of gaming, where we don't gather there to drop the new bomb? Can't it just be a celebration of games and have panel where we bring game developers closer to fans?"

Layden says that Sony now hosts a retailer-specific event in February called Destination PlayStation "where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year. They're making purchasing decision in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers."

Otherwise it's business as usual for Layden. He says Sony is looking into more studio acquisitions, possibly considering Microsoft's big buying spree which added seven new studios to its Xbox Game Studios roster. "I've looked at some opportunities in the past, it's an opportunity to look for the ones that are the best cultural fit."

There's also rumors of the PlayStation 5 coming as early as next year. Without a PlayStation Experience or E3 presence in 2019, Sony looks to be keeping its cards close to the vest. Check out our PS5 guide for all the latest news we've heard about Sony's next-gen console.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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