As 'influencers' rise, Peter Moore foresees a game industry without press conferences
"The medium is changing. Influencers, celebrities who aren't the classic journalists are finding their own way. Our job is to put the games in their hands like we did last night."
- Electronic Arts exec Peter Moore.
The annual Gamescom video game trade fair is taking place this week in Cologne, Germany, and something's different about this year's event: there really aren't any major press conferences to speak of.
That's notable because usually either Microsoft or Sony (sometimes both) take advantage of Gamescom -- Europe's biggest annual video game event -- to host some sort of press event.
This year, Sony took a pass while both Microsoft and Electronic Arts decided to host fan events instead -- and in an on-site interview with Eurogamer's Tom Phillips, EA's Chief Competitive Officer Peter Moore suggested that this will be a continuing trend.
"I'm not too sure, Tom, that press conferences have a future. Let me make a radical statement - what you see here [gestures to EA booth around], which is full, is a combination of our key customers, digital, retail, probably 40 per cent influencers," said Moore. "It used to look like an IKEA showroom but, like EA Play, it's indicative of how we see the future."
Moore is of course referring to the EA Play event the company conducted during E3 this year, in lieu of hosting a formal press conference during E3 or maintaining a booth on the E3 show floor. A significant portion of that pre-E3 event revolved around bringing the public in to play EA game demos -- and then showcasing those demos, some being played by celebrities and YouTubers, on a public livestream.
EA's Gamescom fan event was livestreamed in a similar fashion, and while Moore acknowledges that there was some confusion in the public (and the press) over whether it would be a venue for public announcements like a traditional press conference, he seems confident that this is where the company is headed.
"I was happy with what we did - we were happy with the viewer numbers, the Twitch concurrents, the ebb and flow of what was going on," Moore told Eurogamer. "Two separate things happened last night - a welcoming thing with [EA exec] Patrick [Söderlund], standing on stage, then a livestream which happened to be in the same location. When I read you and Martin's stuff I just thought - they don't get this. But that's fine."
For more of Moore's comments on how the business of selling video games is changing (as well as an aside where he acknowledges that yes, he evidently still has that Halo 2 tattoo) check out the full interview over on Eurogamer.