Activision Will Not be Hosting an E3 Press Event

Activision is one of the leading attractions during press events due to the Call of Duty series which continues to sell an impressive number of units every year. You might expect given the yearly release cycle and similar gameplay mechanics, consumers to become less enthusiastic. Although, the series certainly receives some criticism for its iterative updates, and ability to make so much money! As always, each year’s unveiling of the latest entry gains a lot of media attention and publicity on social media. Whether it’s mocking the franchise, or discussing its merits, there’s a great deal of social media engagement.

However, Activision has decided to forgo their usual plans, and will not be hosting a press conference during E3 this year. The reasoning behind this is to save money, and raises questions about the importance of E3 in the gaming industry. This move follows EA’s plans to also have a small presence during E3. It’s important to remember that both companies will be in attendance, but they won’t be showcasing their games in a dedicated press conference. EA is launching their own event, which probably has much smaller fees compared to a booth on the E3 show floor. However, Activision doesn’t seem to be adopting a similar strategy and just scaling back their efforts.

So what does this mean? Perhaps, big publishers no longer see a return of investment from events like E3 and feel it’s not financially prudent. In an era where there’s a huge array of media events including Gamescom, Pax and others, they might not perceive E3 as that important. This decision clearly revolves around money and I’m sure their research suggests that any presence at E3 isn’t making a substantial difference with sales.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts regarding E3 and if you feel it’s still relevant in the modern gaming industry?

EA Will Not Have a Booth During E3 This Year

The E3 expo is home to a number of major press conferences by Ubisoft, EA, Sony, Microsoft and other key players in the video games industry. Typically, these studios showcase upcoming game releases via cinematic trailers or a real-time demo. The entire event is surrounded by an air of expectation as gamers eagerly await to see what’s in development. In recent years, the anticipation hasn’t been as noticeable but this always depends on the individual in question. One major change last year allowed 4000-5000 fans to enter the premises as invited guests. Previously, the event was restricted to accredited members of the press but the organizers have started to adopt a more accessible entry policy.

Rather surprisingly, EA decided to ditch plans to have a booth on the show floor and instead host an event entitled,  EA Play that will run from June 12th to June 14th at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Additionally, the company will also hold a one-day event on June 12th at The Mermaid Event Centre in London. Apparently, EA is still going to host an official press conference and unveil its latest games but this will be done at EA Play and not the traditional E3 spot. The event’s organizers confirmed EA will retain private business meetings during the expo. In a statement released to Kotaku, an EA representative said:

“We are taking our commitment to put our players first further this year by creating a play experience built around them,”

“Hosting our own event allows us to connect directly with our players and create a meaningful experience for them.”

This is an interesting revelation and somewhat surprising. On the other hand, EA’s press conferences in recent years have been quite dull and alienated the core gaming audience due to the focus on sports titles and fitness games. It seems more companies are beginning to shun E3 which might be an indication of its demise.

Image courtesy of TheZeroReview

A Strain on Resources for SEGA?

This year has been a bit of a weird one for E3, Bethesda Softworks are holding a first ever press conference on the lead up to the show, computer software and hardware manufacturers will be presenting at the show and now it seems that SEGA won’t have a dedicated booth; for the first time in the entire history of the expo.

A spokesperson confirmed that the publisher will not have a dedicated booth on the show floor, but will still have presence on business partners stalls to showcase games such as Total War: Warhammer; this means that there won’t be a huge SEGA logo guiding visitors into the SEGA-focused area. The official reason for this is being pinned on the recent announcement of a structure at headquarters, leaving less time and resources to coordinate at the event.

“Over the next months, Sega of America will be focusing on the restructure and relocation to Southern California, and we have decided to not attend E3 with our own booth this year,” a Sega rep told Game Informer. “With the majority of our bigger titles launching later in 2015/2016, particularly those from our AAA studios Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive, and Creative Assembly, we are concentrating our efforts for some of these major announcements after our relocation.”

Now not presenting at a show isn’t unheard of; Blizzard didn’t hold Blizzcon in 2012, but has grown in size and popularity since. Still, it can’t be good news with the loss of many jobs expected from the restructure, could this be a sign of a shrinking SEGA?

Will you be disappointed that SEGA won’t be showcasing at E3? What are you looking forward to the most from the event? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

AMD to Reveal 300 Series Graphics Cards at E3

Here at eTeknix, we strive to bring you the latest information as soon as we get it. Our sources have revealed to us a possible reveal date for AMD’s newest line-up of graphics cards; the 300 series.

The release date is rumoured to be around the E3 Expo in June. Now this isn’t the first time AMD have revealed a new series of hardware at E3; back in 2013 AMD revealed the FX-9590 CPU, the first consumer CPU available with a stock core clock of 5GHz. Along with this, some of AMD APU’s were also revealed. Now it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything new from AMD, we have seen refreshes and new interim releases like the R9 285 and R9 290x 8GB graphics cards, but these are based on older technologies. It’s the same story with the CPU and APU side of things, the most recent release being the Kaveri based A8-7650k. Anyone remember this $4k(USD) monster back at the 2013 Expo?

With all consumers and press sights being focused on the 300 series graphics cards, it would be amazing if AMD casually pulled out a new range of FX CPU’s and APU’s. Especially so if they’re all released at the world’s biggest gaming Expo.

Prices on the current range of AMD products do seem to have been slashed lately, take the R9 295×2 for example. Six months ago, that was still up around the £900 mark, where now it can be bought for close to £500. Does this all point to AMD pushing out all the excess stock to retailers to clear it before the launch of the 300 series?

What are you expecting to see from AMD? Are you waiting for the reveal of the 300 series specifications before you commit to a new graphics card? Are you attending E3? If not, don’t fret, we’ll keep you all updated with the news.

PAX: Australia 2015 Tickets Set for Early Release!

With PAX Australia wrapping up merely weeks ago, the rumors have already started flying as to 2015’s ticket offering. It’s already been reported that PAX will continue it’s support of the Victorian market by operating for the next five years within the walls of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center (aka “Jeff’s Shed” to the locals) even before the commencement of their first installment in this particular venue, kicking off on October the 31st 2014.

The rumors were quenched in recent days, with PAX officials announcing that tickets will be going on sale for PAX Australia 2015 coming as soon as the first week of December 2014. This was confirmed by many excited Enforcers on my social media platforms singing PAX’s praise – that of positive experiences in pop culture, cosplay, gaming releases and technology.

PAX 2014 was a massive success for Australia, seeing the festival move from the relatively small Melbourne Showgrounds to the much larger MCEC venue and saw them sell out of the 3-day passes months before the commencement date. PAX has successfully provided Australians with something to do with our time and spare dollars, besides the commercialized EB Games Expo alternative.

Given this information, you’re extremely likely to see these 3-day passes sell completely within a few weeks – but it’s a little unfortunate given no companies have made or announced proper plans for exhibiting in 2015. Are you willing to grab a ticket without knowing a single sliver of information about the contents of this show? Or are you confident that PAX will put on a good show, no matter what the issues may be?

At eTeknix we’ve been told some insider info from exhibiting companies that they may not be interested in attending PAX Australia 2015. It’s an amazing branding opportunity, as they have stated, but it’s a rather expensive ordeal without an easily traceable return on investment calculation.

Image courtesy of Kotaku

Disabled PS4 Fans Stunned By Free Console Gift At EBGames Expo

The EBGames Expo has run its course, bringing Australia its first in depth look at next-gen hardware from Sony and Microsoft. There have no doubt been many interesting stories and personal tales from the show, but one stood out just that little bit extra than the others, the story of a group of disabled gamers who were using wheelchairs at the event.

Sony and Microsoft both made the mistake of setting their demo units up stairs with no wheelchair access, although having not been to the show this could have been due to space limitations or just the layout of the exhibition centre in general. What is interesting is the way that Sony and Microsoft handled the situation. I’m not up for trolling Microsoft or anything either, but it does seem like they just can’t catch a break in terms of PR recently.

Sony decided that since they couldn’t get disabled gamers up stairs, the gave their disabled fans a special ticket that will get them a free PlayStation 4 on release day! How awesome is that!

Check out the full story below, but you know these kids were hoping for a free Xbox One from Microsoft when they headed over there, can’t blame them for trying.

Personally I think this is pretty cool of Sony, it sounds like they realised their mistake prior to any gamers turning up and had a contingency to make sure all their fans left happy. I know a free PlayStation 4 would certainly put a smile on my face!

Thank you Gameranx for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Gameranx.