How did the games media cover E3? We ask IGN

IGN’s UK editor-in-chief Alex Simmons lifts the curtain on the media giant’s record-breaking coverage of this year’s E3

A few years ago doomsayers claimed E3 was dead, that the show was little more than a demonstration of gratuitous excess.

But that was the E3 of old, and as an event in the gaming calendar – not just a show in LA – I’d argue it’s more important than ever.

Live streaming enables millions of gamers across the globe to experience E3 as it happens, to watch the reveals and announcements without the bun-fight of trying to get into the press conferences. Truth is, you’ll see more of what the show has to offer sat in front of your TV than you will walking the halls of the LA Convention Center.

Much like the show itself, IGN’s approach to E3 has evolved. This year, we invited our audience to get closer to E3 than ever before through IGN Access, which ran across Twitter and asked millions to influence what we covered at the show. The response was fantastic – IGN Access alone delivered over four million video views. We have since rolled out the programme at San Diego Comic-Con and will be doing the same at Gamescom.

"IGN clocked up 28.1 million visitors during E3 – the most visitors we’ve ever had in a single week."

Alex Simmons, IGN

In addition to new initiatives, we also improved how we covered the show in existing ways.

IGN Live has long been a staple of our E3 coverage, but this year it ran for longer and covered all of the biggest games – and more. We streamed live from our broadcast-quality studio for five days, offering expert insight in the run-up to Bethesda’s press conference and continuing through to when the show closed on Thursday. Our strongest line-up of guests yet showcased the biggest and best games direct to our audience, with 10.5 million video views across console, computer, mobile, Twitch, YouTube and more.

On the subject of numbers, IGN clocked up 28.1 million visitors during E3 – the most visitors we’ve ever had in a single week. We had over 120 million page views and 60 million video views. Our social channels delivered 196 million impressions.

But for me, E3 isn’t about the numbers – it’s about the games, and 2015 was a year to remember.

Unsurprisingly, many of the biggest gaming franchises dominated, with Fallout 4 the most-viewed game during the show, but who’d have thought a remake of an 18-year-old role-playing game – Final Fantasy VII – would’ve challenged for the top spot?

Similarly, our E3 awards celebrated everything from indie newcomers to established big-hitters, with stylish platformer Cuphead only just missing out to Star Wars Battlefront to claim our coveted Game of the Show award.

There was a real buzz around E3 this year, from the show floor and across social media, with many proclaiming it was the best show yet.

I’ve been to 16 E3s – yes, even the two in Atlanta – and after all these years I still get hugely excited about all the announcements and getting to see the games we’ll be playing for the next few years. But more importantly, E3 reminds me how privileged I am to be working in such an amazing industry.

E3 isn’t dead, it’s only just beginning.

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