If you leave a party with your buddies with the question, "That was fun, right?" Chances are, it wasn't a very good party. Unfortunately this question was asked after some friends and I left BOTH of the shindigs tonight, not good. When finding a DeLorean (insert Doc Brown and Marty jokes here) in the parking garage when you're headed home is the highlight of your evening, its a bad sign. Its not that the Eidos or Bethesda parties stunk, its just that they didn't do anything to stand out. E3 is a gaming convention known for making a statement with its parties, or at least it used to be. Free drinks, food and loud music just isn't enough. Ok, so maybe I'm just spoiled.
First on the agenda was the "Age of Conan" party. It was held at an old dance club. The place was dimly lit with the volume of the music turned up to 11, making it difficult to talk to anybody. There were some scantily clad women dressed in metal bikinis (one was with an albino snake) dancing around to give a little bit of a Conan vibe and there were a couple of TV's showing Conan clips but besides that it looked like any other bar. There was nothing in the place to suggest this was an Eidos, or for that matter E3 event. No banner, no demos set up, no announcement and for all I know, no one from Eidos. It got boring pretty quick so we got in our car and made our way over to our next stop.
Bethesda's party was on the Sunset Strip, home of the best Hugh Grant, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton moments. If you're not familiar with LA, Santa Monica is a good drive from where E3 is going on. Its almost like Bethesda decided they wanted to emphasis the new E3 format by making us drive 20 minutes from our hotel. One guy, who we gave a ride back to later, spent $50 on a cab just to get there. The Bethesda party was very low key. Groups of people talking, watching the occasional guy try the mechanical bull and people making smores (seriously). Again, its not that it was that bad, its just that its not what you expect from an E3 party. Nothing gave any clue that the party was for a gaming company. In fact, judging by the age, gender and appearance of the party-goers, it could have been the Initec Christmas party.
I'm hoping tomorrow night's c3@e3 party that Microsoft is hosting is a little more fun.