E3 2015 | Why The PC Gaming Show Format at E3 Was Perfect

Last month at E3 2015, the PC Gaming Show made its debut. It was the first time that PC gaming has had its own dedicated conference.

While the format and glamor was vastly differently than , it’s still a positive step in the right direction for PC gamers, as well as the recognition we receive.

“We have, this, amazing, diverse range of creative experiences that can all be realized on the PC”

The show included a line-up of both “big name” companies and smaller PC specific developers. We saw huge advancements in PC technology from AMD with their “two in one” graphics card, which they presented from a padded metallic briefcase like something from the Men In Black movies. We heard Xbox Chief Phil Spencer tell us he actually cares about PC gamers, which is more than we ever got from Don Mattrick. We even got to see hands on gameplay from Strafe and Enter The Gungeon. A solid lineup of both demos and trailer is all you need, right?

Well, this is where the PC Gaming Show switched it up. Instead of bringing on a spokesperson for each change of topic, a dedicated host was present the entire time. Their chosen host for their maiden voyage was Sean Plott, more commonly known by his internet alias “Day[9].”

The PC Gaming Show was formatted as a talk show, featuring interviews with each “guest.” Personally, I felt like it worked for the following reasons.

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First is the choice of host. Plott is a gamer and carries with him a “genuine” personality. He is known for his love of StarCraft II and his subsequent casting of the game. He hosts a Monday to Friday livestream, covering a variety of games both old and new. Plott has experience not only talking about games, but also talking with others about them. This benefits the viewer in every possible way; Plott has control over the questions asked and works to get the answers he hopes to receive. There’s no script at play, no teleprompter to read from; he is quizzing the developers for the answers he wants. This was most evident for us at TGF. We were discussing the conference amongst ourselves as it was happening and almost every time we posed a question to one another, that very same question was posed to the developer by Sean.

So, apart from getting us the information we wanted, what other benefits are there to this format? Well, the efficiency of it. This format is far superior to the conference method when it comes to discussing more titles and getting more key information. The interview method meant we, as viewers, didn’t have to sit through any unnecessary padding or filler. Instead, each company came on and was forced to discuss all the key details in the short stage time they had. After a few minutes of discussion, we already had release dates, key game features and gameplay footage. In other press conferences, this sometimes felt like it took around ten minutes.. This is a substantial benefit for us as consumers. We can get more out of our E3 experience: more information, more footage, and bigger line-ups.

Another great aspect of this format is the intimacy and relaxed feel it emanates. My point was succinctly proven with the David Braben segment. The Elite: Dangerous designer was giving a speech of sorts, describing the footage he was going to show. Unfortunately, he fumbled over some lines and went completely silent. Should this have happened during a traditional press conference, the internet would undoubtedly mock its awkwardness.

However, the show’s host stepped in to take all of that possible negativity away. Instead of a potential disaster, Plott took it upon himself as the host to make a joke, not at Braben’s expense, and attempted to bring the awkward silence to an end. The crowd chuckled, Sean looked at David in a supportive manner and David managed to pick up his speech again with a grin on his face. This format creates a friendship, a bond if you will, between the host, the audience, and the developer. This showcases how laid back and relaxed the atmosphere is.

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While I could go on and on concerning this, I’ll wrap things up about my final selling point of the format: its flexibility. The interview style of the show combines the usual E3 press conference style with a new dimension.

Paul Wedgwood, CEO of Splash Damage, demonstrated this extra dimension in his segment. He came onto the stage and spoke about his title in the usual manner. Once his footage was complete, he sat down with Plott. This opened up a two-level discussion. We can view the footage and get the information we would normally get, but then we can pick the developers brain and delve into the gritty details we all want to know. This is why the format is so perfect, there is a multi-leveled discussion happening, which means all gamers get tons more out of their E3 experience. That’s a great thing, by the way.

I hope I’ve opened your eyes a little to this new format. People are very quick to dismiss change on something they hold dear. Even if you don’t think this method of interviewing developers is better than the usual conference style, realize it is fresh and new. Let’s give it a chance and welcome it with open arms before dismissing it.

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