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Hamza CTZ Aziz's blog
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Hamza CTZ Aziz avatar 10:47 AM on 06.09.2014  (server time)
E3 2014: From the perspective of a Shark

Iím writing this on my flight down to Los Angeles for E3 right now. Iím excited. Itís nice knowing that events like this can still make me excited eight years into this career. Though itís an even mix of excitement between seeing new games, and seeing all the wonderful friends Iíve been fortunate enough to make that are located all over the world.†

This is going to be the first E3 that where weíre sending our smallest team ever. Dale North, Brett Makedonski, Darren Nakamura, Steven Hansen, Max Scoville, Bill Zoeker, and myself are all the people we have flying in. We also have Michael and Mike from Flixist for our video production needs to support Max and Bill as they do their video thing, and theyíre already based out of LA.†

I remember our first few E3s we would have EVERYONE out. People would also say we were an army, and it was kind of nice walking around with such a large crew. Those were wilder times for sure, and weíve changed a lot since then. The game industry has changed even more since our start as a company, and thatís partly why weíre not really worried that we have a smaller team at the show.†

Take a look at the E3 show floor plans today and compare them to just 10 years ago. Itís a bewildering difference. Thatís not to say everyone wonít be hustling and busting ass 12 hours a day. But weíre being smarter than ever about what we're going to cover. We have a good idea of what needs new previews and interviews over doing something where simply posting a new updated trailer would work. A new, for example, Armored Warfare trailer? Sure weíll post that. Write another preview for it? Haha no. Weíve picked our battles wisely.†

Weíre only a minor part of the E3 coverage equation though. Itís the home team that will be really putting in the most work, especially on Monday and Tuesday. Jordan, Andy, Chris, Brittany, Kyle, Jonathan Holmes, Patrick, Abel, Alessandro, and others will all be crucial in getting content from the press conferences on the site, and then navigating through the sea of assets that will be flooding our inboxes come noon on Tuesday, the second the E3 doors open. I canít thank them enough.†

As for me, Iím probably the most stressed out of everyone since Iím responsible for all the awards we do. I do them for every show I go to, and E3 always ends up being the hardest to predict. We have 12 categories this year, with a max of ten possible nominations for each. I have to narrow our lists down, then hand out the nomination cards to all the booths. Itís a process that takes up all of Tuesday, and parts of Wednesday and Thursday.†

Thereís some games we KNOW that will get nominations beforehand and theyíre already set. Largely because weíve seen them at past events/meetings already. Like The Witcher 3. Yeah thatís getting a Best of Show and Best RPG nominations already, thatís set. Thatís not to say it will win though. Thereís so many unknowns that it makes it hard to predict. I have a list of 14 potential games that are under the Game of the Show nominations or so right now just based on guess work/predictions. A list that has to be narrowed down to 10.†

Really the biggest hurdle is from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. At this point I know what everyone has to show, even the unannounced stuff, I just canít talk about it until the game companies make it public (or shit ends up leaking). Itís the big three that have the biggest cards to deal. What will help ultimately is by Dale, Brett, Darren, Steven, Max, and myself seeing the unknowns in person and then debating it with anyone as needed to figure out the final parts of our nomination process.†

Iím stressing. But itís a good stress. Iím excited. I hope you stick with us for all our E3 coverage. Like always, feel free to ask me anything. Though it's E3 right now so I'll be really late in getting back to you all. Probably this weekend.

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