E3 2012 Trip Report

My first trip of 2012 was flying to Los Angeles in June for the mother of gaming press events, E3. As always, it was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center, near Staples Center. The show took place from June 5-7, but there were events prior to the show that we (my coworker and I) were also able to attend. We arrived the Sunday prior to the show, June 3, and first went to the convention center for registration. This year was the first year they weren’t mailing badges in advance.

E3 Registration line

Afterwards we headed for our hotel. We had taken a very expensive cab from the airport to the convention center and didn’t want to do that again, so we figured out the subway system. Even though we booked our hotel several months in advance of the show, all hotels in downtown LA were completely booked, so we had to book a hotel in the Universal City area near Hollywood. Luckily it was still affiliated with E3, so the shuttle to and from the show still ran there. And it was right by Universal Studios park, so we didn’t mind it being far away.

Our E3 Hotel

I mentioned pre-E3 events, and already that night there was an extremely packed party put on by The Verge. After waiting in line for an hour we were finally let in. Oh yeah, and the party had an open bar.

Polygon on The Verge Pre-E3 Party

They even did these “red carpet” photos for all the attendees.

On the red carpet

The next day, Monday, was when most of the major publisher press conferences were taking place. Microsoft was at 9am, and so I wasn’t recovered by that time to get up and go to it. Our first press conference of the day then was EA. Most of these press conferences were said to be invite only, but if you have a press badge and just act like you belong, you can get in no problem. EA’s took place in a big theater, like most of them did.

During EA's press conference

Ubisoft was up next…

Outside Ubisoft's press conference

And Sony’s was the final event of the day. While the others we got in to no problem, Sony left us waiting unsure if we would get in until the last minute.

Inside the arena for Sony's presser

Afterwards we bummed around LA for a bit before heading back to our hotel. Every year these buildings have huge advertisements on them for different games and this year was for The Elder Scrolls Online.

Building advertisements for The Elder Scrolls Online

At some point earlier that day, our hotel bathroom been decorated with Halo artwork. This was a nice touch since the hotel knew we were staying there for E3.

Next Great Spartan Halo decoration

The next day was the real start of the show. But first, Nintendo’s press conference took place in the morning beforehand.

Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2012

Finally, the show was about to begin.

Medal of Honor Warfighter banner

LA Convention Center during E3

For some reason I didn’t get a whole lot of shots on the actual show floor this year. I guess I was just so busy trying to make all of our appointments and see as much as possible. By day 3, I think we were a little worn out and had seen nearly everything there was to see that we were interested in.
One of the most impressive game demos we saw was by LucasArts for their newly announced game Star Wars 1313. It has without a doubt the best graphics of any game ever made, and was running on an extremely high end PC.

Star Wars 1313 demo room

Finally the highlight of the show for me was meeting one of my favorite game creators, Goichi Suda aka Suda51. He founded the Japanese game company Grasshopper Manufacture and all of his games have a very unique punk feel. While E3 is a professional show and not somewhere for fans to do what they please like other gaming conventions, I had to take the opportunity to meet him. Plus, I know he likes meeting fans and taking photos with them.

Me and Suda51 at E3 2012

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