(and stop wasting everybody's time!)
Who cares about EA Sports?
Millions upon millions of loyal gamers worldwide, that's who. From Madden to FIFA and everything in between, on both sides of the Atlantic, EA Sports' annualised games are an institution. For many, it's the sole reason why they bought a console in the first place. We're not here to rubbish EA Sports. We love EA Sports.
Except that we frequently wish that they'd go away. It's become increasingly clear that big gaming events can't and shouldn't address every audience at once, and frankly they're probably big enough to start throwing their own shindig from now on. That we can either excitedly tune into or completely ignore out of hand.
First of all, EA's E3 press conference illustrates that trying to shoehorn the annualised sports franchises alongside RPGs, shooters, The Sims and in-progress projects is not a good idea. The event and tone was schizophrenic, leaping uncomfortably between subjects and leaving entire swathes of audience completely bored stiff at any given time. If you imagine the Venn Diagram, the overlap is sizeable, but the separate circles are far larger still. Breaking up the conferences would allow for much more coherent and memorable events targeted at a specific audience.
Audience is the key. A great many gamers couldn't care less about the incremental updates headed to FIFA and Madden, either instantly falling asleep or throwing up slightly every time a presenter says "emotional intelligence," "lofted through ball" or "dynamic touchlines." But by the same token, millions of fans do care and actually want a lot more detail than EA were able to provide - and probably aren't hugely excited about seeing Mirror's Edge alpha footage. Expanding and separating the two events lets developers on both sides of that 'casual divide' get the information they want in the detail they crave, or just enjoy all of it. As it is, they're wasting time for everyone.
On the subject of audiences and timewasting, it's also important to remember that you're broadcasting to a global audience but have to pick your battles. Most of us Europeans were bored senseless during the Madden presentation, but imagine how a great many Americans must feel watching Idris Elba talk about how "emotional" soccer is. Since E3 is an American event, I can't help but feel that they should focus on Madden and NHL, then go all-out on FIFA during Gamescom, which takes place in Europe. Seems like common sense to me, and yet another reason to suggest that EA Sports are big enough to throw their own party.
Then again, if it wasn't for EA Sports, the EA press conference would have probably been about 45 seconds long this time. Let's hope they don't get caught with their pants down again in 2015, eh?