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Sony: E3 became a trade show with very little trading

Sucker Punch Productions
A samurai and bowman standing in sunset in Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima

Shawn Layden, whose latest Sony position has him in charge of SIE Worldwide Studios, revealed the reasons behind the company's decision to do away with E3 appearances, one of whom being that E3 is a trade show with very little trading.

Layden reminded that when Sony was taking video games from CES to E3 waters, which was still PlayStation 1 days, the goal was twofold - getting in touch with retailers and journalists.

With modern journalism just about completely reinvented since, news travels faster than ever, and from more sources than ever, so E3 no longer no longer served that purpose.

Its other purpose, however, is the one Sony seems to lament more as E3 seems to be becoming more of a show than a trade show. "So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it", Layden added. 

Moreover, as Layden explained, there's been a fundamental shift in Sony's video game strategy, one which all but erases their need for E3. The company decided to do bigger games at the expense of quantity and June 2019 simply didn't fit into any of their announcement plans.

Layden mentioned that the retail opportunities E3 once provided are taken care of with their event called Destination PlayStation. "[Retailers] are making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers", Layden added.

Sony haven't been ignoring the game streaming market but Layden seems to echo the opinion of the company's CFO Hiroki Totoki, who said that cloud gaming is definitely coming, but that it will take some time before it can be called a preferred mainstream method of gaming. 

A samurai and bowman standing in sunset in Ghost of Tsushima

Layden stressed that Sony's quality control and his own position mean they're more likely to delay a game, so as to ensure it's done right. "So we're striking on all the beats that we want to, and we're getting both critical and commercial acclaim", he added.

You can find the full interview here