Ganked! - May 15, 2006
E3 has come and gone, leaving only a host of quality previews and interviews (and some aching blister-ridden feet) in its wake. The team got together on Saturday to discuss our annual E3 award nominees, and without ruining the surprise, suffice it to say we were very impressed with what we saw from just about every developer. There are, as is to be expected, a few exceptions (/cough Dark and Light /wheeze Webzen /cough). But, in no particular order, we really enjoyed demoing games like World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Warhammer Online, Gods & Heroes, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. We're saw promising, innovative things from independent games like Seed, The Chronicles of Spellborn, and Pirates of the Burning Sea as well.
After finally wrapping up our coverage Saturday night at about 9:30pm, we had drinks in the hotel bar (New Otani Hotel: "Home of the $8 12 oz. domestic beer") with two executive types from another videogame portal network whose name shall remain anonymous (not out of common courtesy; I was half-dozing when they started spouting off). Their model for E3 coverage was to bring a host of unpaid interns to E3, slap their bylines on the volunteers' work, then womanize the developer's "PR chicks" at the after parties.
This approach is quite a contrast to TenTonHammer's "happy few." Believe it or not, we had executive types and board members (avid gamers themselves and published in their own right; no ersatz journalists here) working hard in the media room proofing and posting articles and content as it came in. In their spare time, some towed along to take photos for our busy interviewers. John Hammond came up with an exclusive interview with the first victim of E3's anti-"booth babe" wrath, Casey Poteet. Our editors worked till 4 or 5am to post and publicize evening writeups from the last day. And our writers-- well, I can't say enough in their favor. We went a man down early in the week and they rolled with the punches. Some of them took on double their scheduled daily load and neither complained once nor let the quality of their coverage suffer. I couldn't be prouder of our network and our people.
E3 was a lot of work, but that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable. Despite roommates whose snoring rivalled the NCSoft booth for earsplitting volume, luxuriating in our scanty ration of 3 hours of sleep a night after bringing you the best E3 MMORPG coverage we know how to, and surprise room service bills that would have fed an entire third world orphanage for months (New Otani Hotel: "home of the $80 pizza."), we had a lot of fun. But in case you need proof...
How could a candy company's brilliant marketing coup make for 3 days of nonstop hilarity? Which one of our staff handles chopsticks with lethal precision? Take a bunch of sleep-deprived rural types (including several Dudley-esque courteous Canadians) to the industry's largest convention, which happens to be in the downtown section of one of world's largest cities- what's the worst that could happen? Check out our blogs for the shocking details.
Questions, comments, or pleas for us to take your daughter's picture out of our booth babe gallery? Let us know...