Sitting down in front of the camera this morning for EA’s E3 press conference was a little bit daunting, but not for the reason you might think. It wasn’t the fact that our personalities are being broadcasted to the internet, no. It’s the earth shattering moment when you realise that you’ve gotten up at 3:30am to watch an EA Press conference, following the predictable format of: Something I want to see – sports – nothing – something I want to see. EA has always had a way of making their pressers one of the most boring, dull, and lame experiences of showmanship on the internet.
Check out our coverage of the press conference below:
But this time, thanks to a few key people, it was different. The EA press conference is a shining example of the good and bad of on stage performance, specifically in the gaming industry. Let’s start with the good, Andrea Rene. Although there were some awkward moments, for the most part Andrea presented herself as a fan. That’s what she is, she’s a fan, she loves games and that showed. The other standout was Cornelia Gepperta, the creative director of Sea of Solitude, who visited the point of tears and struggled to regain her composure; excited, nervous and everything in between, she was real. What are the two things these people have in common? Genuineness.
Honesty is attractive, it’s the reason why people resonate with public speakers that espouse the truth, and it’s the reason why the majority of opinion pieces attempt to establish themselves as forthright.
So why is it so hard for companies (in this case, gaming companies) to grasp this? Look, I get it, your written press statements need to follow a crappy PR line, but a press conference should be trying to rouse the public, seduce us into believing your lies. Instead, we come out of the presser with a stark contrast between the aforementioned good, and personalities which feel like they’ve drawn a short straw to present. Not that I don’t appreciate his situation, but the design director of Battlefront 2 just did not want to be there, and the Madden performance, which glorified a sore-loser who refuses to conduct himself appropriately in eSports was nothing short of frustrating.
I guess I shouldn’t be too negative because E3 press conferences have come a long way in the last decade, though, the extremely slow rate of progress from these big companies that lack any form of personality is concerning. Maybe your company wouldn’t have such bad connotations associated with it if you presented yourself as consisting of people with dreams and passions, rather than a google home espousing a vicroads policy update.
Or maybe the sad truth is, at least in this case, the dynamics of working for EA doesn’t enable that form of pleasure.