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Halo Fanboy Heretic gets a bum rush at E3
Kicked Out of E3

Not twenty minutes ago, I get a call on my sleek new Android device from an out of breath staff writer of mine, Jesus Escobar (aka Heretic). He tells me that he has been thrown out (or rather not let in and then asked to leave) E3. The first thing my mind goes to is his history of being an avid, over enthused Halo fanboy. I say to myself “Oh God, he accosted the Bungie team wearing a Couch Campus badge…F***!” As it turns out, that didn’t happen, and now I almost wish it had…

Halo Fanboy Heretic gets a bum rush at E3Running a self-funded video game site isn’t easy. You have the paid journalists to compete with, the insider affiliated semi-pro blogs, and the blogspot bloggers to contend with. And then there are the multitudes of gamers and fans who will dog sites like IGN, Kotaku, Joystiq and Gamespot for gross negligence and then criticize YOU yourself for not having any journalistic credibility. It’s a walking, talking, breathing double standard no matter how you slice it. The one thing I never expected to happen was for one of us to get barred entrance after pre-registration.

On April 23rd, two staff writers Axel and Jesus both began their pre-registration processing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s main site. They both received confirmation details and badge numbers from E3, and Axel received his last week in the mail. Jesus however did not. He called almost daily, requesting confirmation of his eligibility and received it every time. Naturally as we do not pay, he had to check his schedule to be let off of work to attend. He was unable to travel to Los Angeles until today, and it was probably a good thing he didn’t go yesterday and miss work.

It seems that the situation was this: on average our site receives roughly 3-5,000 pageviews a week. A site like IGN or Gamespot receives somewhere around over a hundred million a month. It’s just numbers. Based on our traffic, we were only eligible for one writer to attend E3, and even that was a stretch. The blame of this can be placed on a lot of things. When they checked our traffic in April, we weren’t writing regularly, and as such it appeared that we had less than our normal visitor count. However, just this Sunday we had a post that has had nearly 2,000 visitors in a single day.

So yes, I’m officially giving E3 the right and even agreeing with their decision to not let us in. I understand that allowing every person free admittance into your show is a pretty bad policy. Everyone who hasn’t been says “LET US IN!” Everyone who has says “DON’T LET THEM IN!” So I understand their choice. What I don’t understand is why to wait until a person is at the very door to bar their access? If Jesus hadn’t called almost every day I would have put all the blame on him. But he did, and he was told to simply come pick up his badge. I live in Florida, and if I had flown thousands of miles to LA and was told I couldn’t enter E3, I would be in jail right now. This is a terrible system, and at the very least E3 should check access restrictions over the phone.

So at the very least, let this be a cautionary tale. If you’re doing this as a hobby expect to be treated as such. The industry doesn’t respect you, the people that aren’t in the industry don’t respect you, and given how dedicated you are to it, you probably don’t respect yourself.

Now, I will leave you with the immortal words of Jesus Escobar.

Dude, they won’t let me in! Call the Master Chief!

Jesus

13 comments
ThePit
ThePit

Wow, that is messed up.

Devilishlilpyro
Devilishlilpyro

DesertEagle is right and unfortunately this caused problems for quite a few people trying to obtain a Media Badge. Like with Jesus's situation, they weren't informed until they showed up to pick up their badges/holders that they were not going to be admitted into E3. While I fully understand their need to limit the amount of people that can attend such an event, it is wrong of them to issue badge numbers and then tell attendees "Sorry, you can't get in, even though you were approved". I called and spoke with Michelle Curran of Double Forte this morning about a similar incident. She didn't so much say that the program wasn't working, however, she did say that this shouldn't be an issue next year.

Phaethon
Phaethon

I'm not mad that we didn't have visitors. We ALL could have done more to get more traffic. But the fact that Jesus was told he could come pick up his badge when their system knew he wasn't getting in the door was terrible. They could have saved him a trip by just being straight with us.

DesertEagle
DesertEagle

We had a similar issue with our of our writers. You see the PR firm that decides who gets in and who doesn't uses Compete.com, a tool I wasn't familiar with until a week ago. Most everyone in the industry uses Alexa. Well good old Compete.com shows we have between 50-4,000 unique visitors a month. My server stats indicate far more than that. The problem? Compete, like an other metrics tool is forced to estimate. They do this by surveying the people who have taken the time to download their plug-in. Therefore, if your site is small, the reading may be wholly inaccurate, and doesn't count things like podcast listens. Hopefully, this problem will be rectified by next year. Best of luck, and I hope to see you guys at the show.

Mastershredder
Mastershredder

I had my badge mailed to me last couple times. I have had to pick up onsite twice when I was in europe. Never had a problem liks this. Email/phone correspondence with esa has always worked with anyone I know no matter how messy the issue. It is usually very cut and dry, you are either in or you are not (meeting esa's industry requirements) and they give you ample time to produce eligibility.

James
James

That stinks, I hope Jesus brought all this to their attention.

Phaethon
Phaethon

@ArykheartX: The next time we attend I'll make sure to keep a better eye on registrations. Our guys have busy schedules so we didn't want to tie them into something they might not have been able to commit to. Having a confirmed status really doesn't mean much in the scheme of things I suppose as they can still have you as a registered attendee but have another protocol at the door. @xino: I'm well aware that our site is very small in the large picture and I'm not even mad about that. They could have denied us initial access to E3 but didn't so I am grateful for that. However, I am definitely upset that they didn't have the courtesy to inform us in advance that although we had two registered attendees only one would be allowed into the event. If anyone had been forced to travel this would have been a HUGE issue.

xino
xino

heartless for not letting him in. But never heard of this site man! O_o

ArykheartX
ArykheartX

I find this interesting because you get more page views than our page but our group didn't have the problem getting in for the whole week and in to the press conferences. I mean we may have a live stream, a podcast, and a daily blog but we don't get a load of visitors but we didn't have a problem maybe it was because we registered in early march

NeoHaru
NeoHaru

Don't worry I'm on my way with the warthog. We're busting in. I got my Library Card with me. they have to let us in now.

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