Just a little guy.
First it was EA, then it was Activision, now add Disney Interactive and Wargaming to the list of companies who won’t have any floor space at E3 2016. While Disney didn’t give a reason behind their decision, Wargaming was pretty honest with why they were bowing out:
“From a strictly business perspective, E3 just doesn’t fit our current direction. It’s a show that is very centralized on retail product, and as a free-to-play digital download gaming company, we’ve realized that while the show may be a good fit for lots of other publishers and developers, it’s currently not a great fit for us.” – Wargaming spokesman
That does make a lot of sense, since E3 is usually focused on advertising retail products to both consumers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores. When all you need is a website and a fanbase, why shell out tons of cash to attend E3? I assume Disney and Wargaming will still be at E3 in some capacity, probably still advertising their games, without needing expensive and elaborate booths.
E3 as a major convention is clearly now on a downtrend. Losing EA and Activision is a large blow, but Disney and Wargaming represent new and growing markets. Disney has moved into the “toys to life” genre and sold very, very well, while Wargaming is quietly dominating a free to play market few in this side of the industry pay attention to. If the ESA, the organization that runs E3, can’t move E3 forward to better serve these companies, they’ll need a new strategy so the convention can continue to accurately represent videos games as a whole. And they’ll need to do it quickly.