Former Sony Exec Reveals Why PlayStation Is Done With E3
While the ongoing pandemic pushed E3 2020 to end before it even began, PlayStation was already preparing other plans months prior by choosing to skip the event for the second year in a row. Excluding themselves from the highly-publicized proceedings failed to hurt Sony in the past and the company has only doubled down on the decision with the premiere of their own brand-focused State of Play presentations. In the years since, Sony has shown minimal signs of returning to the showcase anytime soon, begging the question of why PlayStation decided to move away from E3 in the first place.
Former PlayStation Vice President for Third-Party Relations, Adam Boyes, addressed the company’s continuous absence in a recent interview with Push Square (via Prima Games). Boyes, a prominent figure present at several past E3s, explained that Sony’s decision was fueled by recognizing “the cadence and lifecycle of platforms” and a desire to remain impactful in an increasingly digital landscape. In such a structured setting as E3, Boyes recalled many “hard decisions” regarding how content would feature, eventually prompting Sony to take more control in delivering its announcements.
“I think, in general, you look at the cadence and lifecycle of platforms and I think you only have a certain amount of time, you want to make it super impactful,” Boyes explained. “And unfortunately, I think you sometimes have to make hard decisions about what creative content can go where. Some of it was put in the pre-show, some of it was post-show, and some of it was during show announcements.”
Missing E3 would deny PlayStation of the event’s high-profile viewership, but would give Sony the opportunity to roll out its content in a manner more tuned to modern audiences. Citing showcases like Nintendo Direct and Inside Xbox, Adam Boyes recognized companies were already “migrating more towards that compilation-based approach” where content is delivered in a streamlined and no-nonsense style. Boyes attributed this new fast-paced process to the current “‘give it to me now’ TikTok era,” saying that “people just want to see new stuff.”
“I think, if we look at 2013, 2014, and 2015 of E3, now when you look at it, it feels a little bit dated in a way,” Boyes said. “When I look at some of the scripts I was using, it was very much ‘look at me, I’m enjoying myself but I’m also going to talk about a fun game’, whereas people nowadays don’t care about the spokesperson. ‘Show me the stuff’. If we look at America’s Funniest Home Videos, right now it’s just fail compilations. I don’t need a host talking me through it, show me all the stuff. And I think that’s sort of what happens with these kind of shows, which in my opinion makes them less of a theatrical experience and more of a trailer compilation.”
But from what I understand, that’s more of what the fans want. Show me what you got.”
What do you think? Are you glad that PlayStation has moved away from big E3 showcases, or were you actually a fan of the cinematic spectacles put forward in previous years? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.