LOS ANGELES — Tens of thousands of video game and technology fans descended on the Los Angeles Convention Center on Wednesday for Day 2 of the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the video game industry’s premiere trade show and one of the largest gaming conventions in the world.
All of the major video game developers were on hand to hawk their upcoming releases, many erecting elaborate sky-high booths and lounges replete with recliners, couches and TVs so gamers could test the latest games for themselves.
“What’s this line for?” Breitbart News asked an eager fan standing on a jam-packed, labyrinthine line outside what looked to be a pop-up train station.
“Oh, dude, this is the line for the demo play for ‘The Order: 1886‘…You haven’t heard of ‘The Order?’ You gotta get on this line, man,” he said.
That atmosphere of eagerness and anticipation permeated the convention halls, where gamers got the chance to test out everything from Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” to E.A. Sports’ “Madden ’15.” Nintendo built a massive, three-story screen on a wall, where four gamers on a raised platform battled it out in the newest “Super Smash Brothers” game for the company’s latest next-generation game console, Wii U.
One fan who came all the way from Switzerland explained how he got to play the game on the massive screen.
“First, you have to win a round [of Super Smash Bros.] on the outside TV screens, against three other players,” said Maximilian Vermilye. “Then, you have to ‘prove your loyalty to Nintendo’ before they let you play on the big screen. I had it made, I just went to the Zelda Symphony in New York a couple years ago. I got backstage and got autographs from the whole cast and crew. I showed them the autographed ticket and they let me up.”
Industry players, video game fans, and reporters from all over the world shuffled around the massive convention hall floors, chattering excitedly and standing in long lines to test out games. Some hardcore fans dressed up as their favorite video game characters; one fan wore a full-body, pixelated costume from the game Minecraft, while others wore Zelda costumes and Super Mario Brothers hats. A DJ cranked out dance music from the corner of the West Hall, amid display cases showcasing the next generation of video game controllers and headphones.
Journalists and camera crews from every conceivable media outlet hung out in the well-stocked media hospitality lounge to recharge their phones and file their reports. Roast beef and chicken sandwiches were served for lunch. A reporter from Time said security was tighter this year than in previous years.
“Have they been checking your I.D. at every entrance?” he asked. “They didn’t do that last year. Apparently they got fed up with people sharing badges.”
After lunch, Breitbart News caught up with Electronic Arts at their booth for the new “U.F.C.” game, scheduled for release on June 17. The game’s graphics on the new Xbox One were so good that after playing for five minutes, it almost felt as if one were watching a live U.F.C. fight on TV.
“This is the submission screen,” coached a member of the game’s development team. “You have to keep moving the right joystick around and I can try and block you by going in the same direction. You have to try to keep me guessing.”
The most impressive displays at the convention arguably came from Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4; each company had a massive section of the West Hall cordoned off for their booths. Microsoft constructed a loft where gamers could live-stream their gameplay and chat with other players over the Internet using Twitch, a video platform and online game community that broadcasted live coverage from the Convention Center all day.
In fact, many video game publications were reporting live from the festivities around the clock; GameStop, GameSpot, and IGN were just a few of the dozens of video game-based media outlets that set up temporary but impressive-looking press rooms, interviewing insiders and commenting on the frenzy. Breitbart News overheard live reports in at least six different languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Russian, from reporters set up at almost every spot on the convention floor.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo started on Monday, June 10 and runs until 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 12. Unlike other video game conventions, E3 is open only to those with a connection to the video game industry and members of the press.