It's been a tough year for E3. First it was cancelled, then its digital alternative was nowhere to be seen, and now it turns out that developers and publishers might not need it at all, with some of this summer's biggest announcements drawing as much, if not more, attention than anything revealed last year.
According to a report from marketing firm Fancensus (via GamesIndustry.biz), in the 72 hours after Ubisoft's official announcement, Assassin's Creed Valhalla got more attention than the biggest games from last year, even those with established names like FromSoftware's Elden Ring and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Further down the pecking order, smaller titles like Worms Rumble received roughly the same media coverage as similar reveals from last summer. Overall, there were five per cent fewer articles about games announced as part of a dedicated online event.
That's all linked to press coverage, which isn't necessarily the most concrete indicator of success, but Fancensus says that "YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook all show equally encouraging results." On YouTube in particular, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time secured more than five times more video views than the sequel to Breath of the Wild, with the like of AC: Valhalla and Resident Evil 8: Village doing considerable better than all of last year's biggest announcements.
It's only two years' worth of data, and between lockdown and an oncoming console generation, there are likely to be other contributing factors, but if a physical E3 showcase can do less for coverage than a cheap stream, the show's days may be numbered.