EA offered a pre-show glimpse of the E3 titles at the Los Angeles campus today, offering up a wide selection of Wii, Xbox and other game titles for the media to play. It was also an opportunity to show off titles not yet publicly announced, in secret conference rooms that contained blackout curtains and stern looking guards.
The eight-hour event started at 11:30 am today, with media check-in, followed by a special barbecue lunch for the E3 Game Critic Award judges. Once lunch was done, the show began and members of the media were whisked to various gaming stations to jump, shoot, race and create. Special game presentations were given in the Mann’s Chinese Theater, a large room with stadium seating and high tech screens. E3 Game Critic Award judges received the red carpet treatment and given the opportunity to play games that EA wanted to be considered for the “Best of E3” nominations.
Matt Leone of 1UP said he had been attending pre-E3 events all week and that EA’s was by the far the biggest. He was waiting for his appointment to see one of EA’s newest games. “It’s a chance to get a sneak peek at some of the titles,” he said.
It was also a chance for some good food and drink. There was food available all day, with fresh brownies, cookies, fruit and snacks available post lunch. At 4:30, the cocktail party kicked off with a mashed potato bar – 5 different types of mashed potatoes and 25 different toppings, all served in martini glasses. A full service bar was also available, along with dinner and music.
Upstairs, on the second floor above the main lobby, the loud sounds of guns, planes and comraderie reverbverated throughout the floor. "I can't believe how loud it is," said one new EA employee. "It's so cool that we get to see the games."
This is the third year the event has been held at EA Los Angeles. Preparations began two months ago and culminated in the set up of 40 consoles and HDTVs and dozens of couches and chairs. EA worked with Tekamaki, a technical services team that handled set up and equipment rentals. Tekamaki is also designing EA’s booth at E3 this year.
“This event really allows us to show off what we have here as far as the location, campus and facilities,” said Tim Sabourin, Facilities Director. “It gives us an opportunity to be at the center of the EA universe for a bit.”