Michael Gallagher Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Assn. (Entertainment Software Assn. / June 4, 2012)

With video games in decline, one may wonder whether a convention like E3 is needed, E3 opened Monday to begin its annual celebration of the spectacle of big-budget titles, is still needed.
 
For the last 18 years, E3 has served as the starting gun for the industry, an extravaganza of costumed elves and orcs, provocatively clad booth attendees and video screens as tall as houses. The convention attracts more than 45,000 attendees each year for the four-day spectacle, during which more than 200 large game publishers such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft show off games set to hit store shelves in the coming months.

But with consumers shifting their time and dollars more toward low-budget games for smartphones and tablets as well as online and on social networks, how important is E3?
Michael Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Assn. which puts on E3, argues that the show is more relevant than ever because it has been able to adapt to the changing composition of the $50-billion global video game industry.

As evidence, he cites E3's "media impressions," the number of times news stories are watched, seen or heard.  Last year's show generated more than 20 billion media impressions, he said, up from more than 12 billion in 2010.

In an interview, Gallagher, who served as the Department of Commerce's assistant secretary for communications and information before he joined the ESA in 2007, outlined his case for E3's continued relevance in a rapidly evolving industry.  To read more in the LA Times click More..