Letter From The Director: Showtime


Posted July 31, 2009 - By Billy Berghammer

Letter From The Director: Showtime

With our Comic-Con coverage still flowing, and the first batch of our Best of Comic-Con footage set to go live today (and a majority of our staff still feeling the effects of said show), we’re already looking beyond that event to the next slew of big events in gaming. Although DICE and GDC and a few gamers’ days round out the Spring, now that E3 is relatively back in its normal slot (well, a month later) it seems like E3 will kick off the next phase of big game shows.

August is a doozy of a month and G4 will be travelling the globe to cover it all. There’s a number of smaller gamers days kicking off this month, most of which I can’t speak about yet – but there’s one or two I really wish I could attend. However, unless I learn to teleport in the next few weeks, I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t do everything.

QuakeCon (August 13-16th /  Dallas, Texas) is coming like a freight train, which should be exciting since we’ll get our first real taste of id Software’s Rage, and learn what’s coming from the shooter powerhouse now that they’ve been purchased by ZeniMax. The keynotes have yet to be announced, but I’m expecting John Carmack to have a speech where 90% of it will go over the average gamers’ heads. I personally love the event because not only does it allow id to blow the lid off their games, a lot of Texan developers show up and hang out in the evenings, which prove to be chock full of interesting stories, rumors, and barbeque. Nom.

Plus, then there’s the insanity of the 24-hour-a-day gaming marathon. I have a gaming laptop that I’m planning on dipping in the Bring Your Own Computer area. This is where the new and old collide and the most unbelievable super rigs tear it up. Now they’ve added consoles into the mix. Tack on tournaments, contests, and gobs of dudes that make Comic-Con smell like a garden of love and you’ll get the idea. We are still in the planning stages of our coverage, but I’m looking forward to gallons of energy drinks and launching massive amounts of rockets at Leahy’s face. Then again, God knows, he’s going to mop the floor with me.

GamesCom (August 19th-23rd / Cologne, Germany). Formerly known as the German game event in Leipzig called Games Convention, the show is now going to be located in the beautiful city of Cologne. While I’ve been to GC in previous years, I’m curious to see what this show holds, especially since it’s a totally new city, and new venue.

What I really like about this show is the how freaking big it’s gotten – last year serving over 200,000 people over the four days it was open. But the way it’s set up to cover is absolutely fantastic for press since the convention has the entire public area for the gamers to frolic in separated from a business center where you can get quiet demos, conduct intimate interviews and eat German pretzels and sausage where ever you want. Life can be beautiful sometimes.

Sony usually dominates this show and for the last year or two Microsoft has barely scared up a whimper. Nintendo – from what we know so far – isn’t planning much. Expect to hear a few new announcements on the Sony front and quite a bit from third parties.

Letter From The Director: Showtime

BlizzCon (August 21st-22nd / Anaheim, California) is where Blizzard opens their wings in their own backyard during this massive two day event. Since it’s during GamesCom, I won’t be able to attend. Considering I’m a big World of Warcraft fan, I’m ultra-curious to see what the MMO powerhouse is bringing to the show. I’m expecting updates on the StarCraft II front, as well as Diablo III. But what I’m even more interested in is whether or not Blizzard drops any word on either their super secret next-gen MMO, or (for the love of everything Azeroth) another expansion for World of Warcraft.

A show totally for the fans, the panels and keynotes are always chock full of news and information for Blizzard nuts. There’s a reason this show sells out within moments. It’s a freakin’ blast. And sadly one that I will miss yet again. Sniff. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got the show covered again.

I’m extremely curious how this year’s E3 return to glory will affect the rest of the big shows for the year. While id and Blizzard’s shows are their own entities and those companies have saved big announcements for their own respective shows, GamesCom and the pending Tokyo Game Show should be interesting affairs. In years past, when E3 was more-or-less a turd, those shows turned into monsters. Companies enjoy seeing their games blow up in the spotlight of a big show and when E3 barely scared up a whimper in the major media, publishers latched onto these international conventions in big ways. There’s also another reason why other shows have had bigger gaming presences – such as Comic-Con and PAX – in the past few years. Publishers want to get gamers and the press talking about their games.

And once August is over, September brings its own events. Between PAX, Tokyo Game Show and other events that are yet to be announced, it’s going to be a crazy few months right up until the holiday season. Even though the Nerd Army won’t be seeing their homes for most of the next two months, we’re excited to hit the road again, and bring you these shows like no one else can. Our bags are packed, passports in hand, and video cameras locked and loaded. Bring it.



Letter From The Director: Showtime


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