Entertainment Software Association and E3

While I was aware the E3 has become somewhat… sidelined… over the last decade, at least increasingly so, I had never really thought about it that much. I assumed it was run by a dedicated organization that did this and things like it, as many conventions and trade shows are. I had assumed its problems were primarily a result of the more connected and communicative world we live in now. A world where most companies have their own live streams regularly that are known and command their own following.

I found it interesting, then, that Variety has an article out now, Inside the Disarray Facing the Video Game Organization Behind E3, that seems to be laying the organizations failures at the feet of former CEO Mike Gallagher. Among the things focused on are his personal management practices, which were allegedly adversarial and demeaning, and his political views, which were… on display.

It is also discussed if what is, essentially, a lobbying and special interest group, should be operating and running a show like E3, as this takes attention and resources away from its purpose. Variety mentions it being a significant source of revenue for them, though I had to dig through the tax document in the article to really make sense of the statement. They simply say that the show is 48% percent of the budget, but fail to give any additional context.

Part VIII, Line 2a, shows that E3EXPO has around 16.9M USD of revenue. This really didn’t help on its own, but part I, line 18, give us total expenses of 33.6M USD, so it’s fair to say that it brings in about half their budget, at least gross. I dug a little further though and found a rough cost for it as well. Part IX, Line 19, Conferences, conventions, and meetings – 7,522,484. So only about 9.4M of that revenue is actually available to cover other expenses. Still a pretty hefty 30% or so of their non-E3 expenses.

I believe they were trying to say that the organization may be underfunded without E3 and that’s why they continue to do it themselves instead of spinning it off to focus on lobbying.

Not really related, but I did notice Reggie Fils-Amie is on the board, or was in 2016 anyway. His was the only name I recognized off the top of my head though, and it’s not a surprise or unexpected. I imagine most of the large game industry movers have someone representing their interest on the board, since they’re technically member organizations that pay dues.

Anyway, I found it an interesting read. Certainly gave me something to think and write about, if nothing else. Y’all take care.

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