70% of games showcased at E3 2016 are already released

Chris Stead 9 June 2017

e3-2016-vs-2017

We've crunched the numbers of every E3 2016 press conference to find out what has happened to those games in the past 12 months.

While some of the shine has come off E3 in recent years, it’s still the big stage for the most important announcements in the video gaming industry. The famous press conferences that dot the Los Angeles landscape in the days before the doors to the Convention Center open are watched eagerly by millions. What will be announced? The anticipation is extraordinary.

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However, far too often, the games announced at E3 can be years away from being released, or never get released at all. Over the last few years, I have been analysing the six main conferences – Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo (although the latter has changed the format from a traditional style conference). I’ve documented each game shown and tracked their release patterns.

I’ve just completed my research for the 12 months spanning E3 2016 and E3 2017 – so what does the data show? The most notable figure is that 70% of the games that were shown at the E3 2016 press conferences are now out. It’s notable because in the previous 12-month cycle, only 38% of showcased games actually released in the 12 months following E3 2015. That’s a huge swing in publisher and first-party intent. Will it continue at E3 2017? Here are all the key findings from this year’s research.

Key Findings

  • In total, 92 games and one movie (Assassin’s Creed) were showcased across the six press conferences of E3 2016. This figure of 93 was up 32% on E3 2015, which showcased 70 games.
  • 62 of these showcased games were previously announced, while 31 were new announcements. As such, 33% of press conference games were previously unknown. This was identical to E3 2015, where 33% of the titles shown were new.
  • Bethesda (71%), Sony (63%) and Ubisoft (50%) were the only conferences to showcase a majority share of previously unannounced titles.
  • Only 9% of the games at Microsoft’s press conference were previously unannounced, followed by Nintendo (19%).
  • Microsoft (70%) and Nintendo (31%) had the biggest contingent of indie titles in their conferences.
  • Only 6% of Sony’s showcased games were from an indie studio.
  • On average, of the 93 games announced at E3 2016, 70% have been released.
  • Of that 70%, 7 in 10 were released in the first six months after E3 2016.
  • Ubisoft (93%) and Nintendo (88%) are by far and away the most likely to show a game at their E3 press conference that releases within a year.
  • Nintendo (93%) and EA (83%) are the most likely to release a game shown at their conference before Christmas of that year.
  • 55% of the games that were previously unannounced have released since E3 2016.
  • When it comes to announcing a new game for the first time and then releasing it before the following E3, Ubisoft (100%), Nintendo and Microsoft (67%) are the best. EA (25%) and Sony (30%) are the worst.
  • At the E3 2016 press conferences, Microsoft (33) showed the most games, followed by Sony and Nintendo (16) and Ubisoft (12).
  • Bethesda (7) and EA (9) has the smallest amount of games on display.
  • One in three games shown at the E3 2016 press conferences was an indie title.
  • When we remove indie titles from the equation, Sony (94%) toppled Nintendo (69%) and Microsoft (30%) for showing first or third-party publisher software.

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Comparing E3 2015 to E3 2016

  • There was a 32% growth in games shown at E3 2016 press conferences over E3 2015. However, this was largely driven by the 23 indies showcased by Microsoft.
  • The number of new games shown by Sony grew dramatically from 23% at E3 2015 to 63% at E3 2016. As did the number of new games announced and released, up from 0% to 30%.
  • The number of games shown and released within 12 months grew by 7.75% between the two E3s.
  • The number of games shown and not released dropped from 38.5% to 30% as well, also an improvement.
  • The number of games shown at E3 2016 and released within six months increased marginally by 4.5% on E3 2015.
  • The number of games announced for the first time at E3 and then releasing in the following 12 months improved by 49%, to a majority 55% of titles.

For more on this year's E3, check out our complete guide of Australian conference times and what to expect from each exhibitor.

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