This year's E3 ended a few days ago, and it's time for an assessment on the past week. The game part will be examined in detail during our first podcast to be released in the next few days, but in here I want to talk about the way less fun part of last week.
Before going into any further detail, I want to say that I'm convinced we did the best work we could do during this E3. All the trailers that were available to us (easily or not) could be posted without delay mostly thanks to Game2k's tireless work, and Miguel also did an amazing job filming nothing less than 19 games while working alone on the showfloor.
Despite all this, this E3 has been nothing less than a disaster for the site in terms of visitors (and as such, revenue). We didn't even do 50% or our visitors compared to last year, and added to that, ads on websites are worth less and less. To give you a better understanding of the situation, we went from $2,500 2 years ago to $300 this year for the days of E3.
Game shows (E3 and Gamescom in particular) are historically the moments where sites like ours do a lot of their yearly revenue. To be completely honest, if we didn't have any other revenue source (as it was the case until last month) the site would have closed before the end of this year.
So why the lack of visitors? This is of course a question we have been asking ourselves a lot for the past few days. First, quite a few publishers have now gone completely Youtube exclusive (Nintendo, Bethesda, Activision), or give their channel and a few select big sites a timed exclusive on their content (EA), making our coverage of their games impossible or at best anecdotal.
Let's add to this the fact the many publishers nowadays make their own shows with exclusive gameplay on Youtube/Twich and/or have their designers/producers go to various big sites to show exclusive direct feed gameplay.
There is also the fact that, besides Zelda, there was no *huge* game at this year's E3. Games like Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V or Uncharted 4 generated a lot of interest last year, even though we had little more than trailers to show for them. Sadly, there was nothing that big this year.
The sad thing about all this is that in the end it's the games themselves that suffer from all this. As all content shifts to Youtube - or even worse Twitch - we do not get to experience the games as they really look like anymore. And due to how ubiquitous Youtube is nowadays - it basically works on anything that can connect to the Internet - the vast majority of gamers either don't know or don't care that what they see is not how a game should be displayed.
Our goal here at Gamersyde is, and always has been, to show the games at their best, and not just as the blurry pixelated mess we all experience daily on Youtube or Twitch. It's really sad that our goal is clearly not financially viable by itself anymore, even though our hosting costs have been dropping very quickly.
The good news is that our Patreon, as long as it stays at around what it is now, is enough to ensure that the site will go on. It will allow us to keep putting the games in the spotlight like we have always done, without having to compromise in any way.
Thanks a lot to our patrons, it's only because of you guys that Gamersyde will keep on going (and hopefully get better). For those who don't want or can't support us financially, keep in mind that we really appreciate your support and long time appreciation. I said it when we launched the Patreon, I'll say it again now, we have no intention of having two tiers of people on the site with the patrons on one side and the rest on the other. Our content is and will stay free, because it's been our code value for the past 13 years we've been doing this.