May 19, 2008
GCA and ESA Fight Over E3 Awards
With the recent departure of LucasArts from the ESA and E3, as well as the more notable withdrawal of Activision-Blizzard, some problems are starting to appear in the now slightly fragmented industry.
The story goes like this: the Game Critics Awards, a voluntary organization made up of independent game journalists, has shown its intent to include games not only shown "in" E3, but those "around" E3 as nominees for its "Best of E3" awards. This has of course infuriated the ESA which wants only those companies who are actually involved in E3 to be eligible. A response to the ESA from Geoff Knightly, co-chair of the GCA:
"The fact that Activision is not a registered exhibitor for E3 has brought to light the issue of how to determine the eligibility of games... A precedent has been set that in the past, judges have voted on games that have been presented off the show floor at hotel suites and across the street from E3. It would be a shame for me if the best game of E3 didn't win the Best of Show award because it was demoed across the street from the show floor...
A sound argument can be seen on both sides: on one hand, what is a "Best of E3" award if it's not only for actual E3 members? Then again, is it really fair to game developers that their games are excluded from one of the few notable awards because their game was simply across the street? I personally don't think an independent awards organization should have to listen to an industry association, but it is ESA's show, so it will be interesting to see how they react.