With E3, the game industry’s biggest trade show, weeks away, developers are racing to get their proverbial ducks in a row (real ducks in the case of Nintendo’s Duck Hunt reboot). With this mad scramble to the E3 finish line, some studios have started locking down the most important tool in their make-gamers-flip-out-arsenal — YouTube.
Developer Square Enix has already launched an exclusive “Square Enix Presents” series, which will be streaming live from E3 via YouTube. The prolific studio — you may have heard of their Final Fantasy franchise — will be offering game demos, interviews with developers and live coverage of the show. The crown jewel of Square Enix Presents is expected to also be the unveiling of their upcoming next-generation Final Fantasy title.
The rise of YouTube-hosted E3 coverage exploded in the past few years with the event inevitably turning into an industry-only affair. Hungry fans have since had to rely on media coverage to get their game news fix. Once the ability to attend as a general public was stripped, power fell heavily into the hands of media outlets who cannot always accommodate for everyones’ tastes.
The problem is that game magazines, channels, blogs and the like are required by their cruel corporate masters to cover the broadest possible swath of gaming news. And so some people who care only about Square Enix news are left with only the most important, most jaw-dropping reveals.
With the inclusion of YouTube live streaming channels, game developers are able to showcase every game and every announcement unveiled at E3 with as much coverage as they want.
Recently, Nintendo announced that instead of a traditional press conference outlining their upcoming games, they would host a Nintendo Direct event. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata explained in a financial briefing held in April that although the press was previously used to broadcast information to Nintendo’s audience, they would be taking a different approach:
“We also used them [reporters, investors, analysts] as a communication tool in which we broadcast our presentations on the Internet to reach out to video game fans around the globe. I believe that many are expecting us to host a similar event this year. On the other hand, since we set out on new endeavors such as Nintendo Direct two years ago in October, we have been paying special attention to the fact that different people demand different types of information from us.” Iwata explained.
That demand for “different types of information” will play a huge role among the relationship developers and YouTube will share at E3. Within the razor-thin margins of the game industry, developers must know how to expand their audience while also giving diehard fans every possible scrap of E3 news. YouTube will provide that opportunity for developers as site-wide live streaming capabilities are now open to everyone at a fraction of the resources usually required to host a live stream. The game industry is predicted to go in a massive new direction this year; it looks like YouTube is going with them as well.
For more on E3, check out our YouTube coverage from 2012’s expo: