The Electronic Entertainment Expo Report by Al Giovetti



By Al Giovetti


The 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta by Al Giovetti

The show began for us on Tuesday, July 17, 1997 when Mike and Al arrived to check out the show build up and tear down. We loaded our cameras off the loading dock and obtained Exhibitor and Build Up and Tear Down passes to the show. The place was a total mess with all the booths in pieces on the ground.

Over the next two days the boothes were built mostly by professional show roadies who put the boothes together for the companies that we know and love. Almost none of the people that we all know arrived until Wednesday. The place was a virtual ghost town.

Right up until the last minute Psygnosis was waiting for their software with all the game designers sitting around sweating it out. Psygnosis did not get their software until late on Wednesday evening, but were up and ready to go at show opening 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The two loudest boothes were Eidos and Sony. Eidos was certainly the most confusing. We showed up for our interview at Eidos and were not able to locate the person we had our appointmen with. We asked the woman at the door who shall remain nameless and she nor anyone else could point out the appointee.

So we cooled our heals with the other VIP press in the Eidos VIP lounge and scarfed up rare roast beef sandwiches, fruit, bottles of water and juice until the 45 minute appointment was up. Meanwhile we talked to other press, who were also scarfing up food, and sharing gossip.

One of the press notables was Robert C. Lock, who was once the editor of the mighty Compute Magazine which had a ten year run before being bought out by Ziff Davis and turned into Computer Life. Robert was one of my editors when I worked for Compute, which was published in the South Eastern part of the Country in Greensboro, North Carolina. Greensboro is the home of Boot and PC Gamer, two excellent gaming magazines, which I read.

Bob has used Greensboro, NC to launch his newest magazine ePlay, The Leading Magazine of Multiplayer Gaming. The new rag is dedicated to online multiplayer gaming, a burgeoning industry and a fun place to be in the late 90s what with all the new sparkling three dimensional graphics and sound. The first issue, volume one, premiered at E3 inspite of its August 1997 cover date.

Articles on the interior include some from Steven Poole, Steven Kent, Gary Meredith, Leslie Mizell, Phill Powell, T. Liam McDonald, Tom "KC" Basham, John Cocking and others you may recognize. All these writers work regularly for other Greensboro based magazines. Compute, over ten years ago, had a subscriber base of over 250,000 readers and approached one million readers before being bought out by Ziff Davis.

Over 1500 products were released at E3 in Atlanta this year. Check out our E3 product list to see what was introduced.

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