Wrapping up E3 2019: What the Conference Tells Us About the Future of Video Gaming

17 June 2019 | By Alex Yerukhimovich

I just returned from another successful edition of E3 representing Anzu.io. The conference has always been a defining event for the gaming industry as it brings the biggest players under one roof. Each edition of E3 brings its own share of surprise announcements and I expected this year to be no different.

What I Expected

Of course, the big game announcements are always exciting to look forward to, and this year I was also quite psyched about having a first look at the Avenger’s game! As much as the event is about the big publishers, I was also anticipating a lot of action from indie games.

Many tech experts and industry watchers had predicted Microsoft to be the biggest winner at this year’s conference, considering Sony decided to sit out. Another interesting space at this year’s conference to watch out for was on the PC gaming front, that hasn’t been traditionally a big showcase of E3. But, that with Epic Games’ keynote this year that changes the playing field.

Then there is VR, of course: with the first VR-centered keynote called E3 VR Showcase, the topic of VR was set to grab the center stage. And it might be the biggest push that VR has seen in the gaming space!

What Actually Happened

E3 is a big platform for showcasing new consoles and there were a lot of exciting announcements this year for every kind of gamer: from Final Fantasy VII remake to Cyberpunk 2077 (it also has Keanu Reeves!), and also the remake of Legend of Zelda. Next, Project Scarlett, Microsoft’s Xbox, as well as the announcement of the much-awaited titles have the brand advertisers and gamers equally excited!

An interesting observation by many, including The Verge, is around the subscription services and the shift that is occuring in the way games are sold, and publishers wanting to offer “Netflix for games.” This could be another turning point for the gaming industry and publishers’ foray into the freemium and gaming as a service space. What does this mean for brand advertisers? We will have to watch out!

My Key Takeaways

The competition in the gaming space is set to get fierce, and E3 was just one of the events that showcased what’s in store this year. Looking at the key trends to take away from the conference, one thing was certain: the gaming industry is rapidly evolving and publishers are trying new and interesting ways to engage with the gaming population.

This growing appetite for gaming also means that a lot more publishers are experimenting with blending social and interactive elements into new games, perhaps to connect with the young gamers who want more from their gaming experience than just entertainment.

Additionally, more and more games are trying to be eSports friendly. This is news for the growth of gaming and eSports as advertising channels for brands. Expect to see a big push from brands when it comes to exploring these to tap new audiences.

Alex Yerukhimovich is the VP of Sales at Anzu. He has been working in the ad tech industry since 2014, holding various positions on the supply-side. A hands-on leader, Alex loves to make a tangible difference in the industry and enjoys the dynamic nature that the ad tech environment offers. He speaks 5 languages, loves traveling and is a gangsta rapper in an alternate universe! Follow him on LinkedIn.