Believe it or not, after 5 years in the industry, this was my first E3 I ever attended. The closest I had been before was being on the home office side of the 2004 demo for The Matrix Online. I’d heard plenty of stories about noise, crowds, and the somewhat-clad booth babes, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect this year.
This was only the second time MxO would appear at E3 and I was excited to show off the game to interested people. As I saw at Fan Faire this year, the game gets better looking as PC equipment gets better and less expensive. I knew we’d be showing off a game that looked as good or better than a lot of MMOs on the floor—even given we’re a year old now.
Tuesday, May 9
Just before leaving for SeaTac airport Tuesday morning, I got a call from the studio. It turns out there was a problem with the player client that prevented our in-game concert videos from playing. I had to leave things in the capable hands of Colin, one of our other producers, and checked in throughout the day on progress. The team cranked out two patches that day, with the second one being prepared for testing at 1AM Wednesday morning and release at 4AM. It looked to be the beginning of a long week for me.
I arrived in LA and went to the convention center with Matt Wilson, the Seattle studio head, to check out the venue. Dan Binter had already been there to make sure things were up and running, so it was mostly a fly-by on my part.
While I’d been planning on running the game at 1600x1200, Dan took it one step further. He had MxO at 1920x1200 with full graphic options going and it was running smooth as butter. Throw in Combat Revision 2.0 and I simply couldn’t wait to see peoples’ reactions to today’s MxO.
Since so many other community managers were around, it was a great chance to hang out with everyone I don’t get to see by being up in the Seattle office. It also gave me a chance to check in with my marketing and public relations folks and do a little update on how the free trial was going. (Incredibly well, by the way.) So, after a little face time, I hooked up with Jason, Em, and Kurt from the CRM team and got a ride back to the hotel.
That night we had the pre-E3 gathering in the hotel restaurant. After grabbing my shirts and taking them back to the room, it was time for more socializing with people from the other two studios. (Fortunately, my PR person wasn’t wielding a hammer by this point.) I sat down with some of the EQ2 team and we chatted about our respective games for a bit and caught up on what had been going on since we all saw each other at Fan Faire the month before.
Afterwards, I joined some folks from the CRM team at the tables, along with Leah from EQOA, and continued the chat. One of the nice things about being a fairly tight team is that we always seem to be able to pick up wherever we left off the last time we saw each other. I now have several invites to visit the Austin team, which sounds like a great idea—in the winter. ;)
And, no, I ducked out of mechanical bull riding, thank-you-very-much. :P