Last week’s E3 show was pretty awesome, even with the press mixing in with the public. But that’s not to say that it was perfect. In fact, Polygon recently reported on a scary incident that left a few people shaken up, including Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima.
Reporter Charlie Hall went into detail about how things turned south right outside the private Cyberpunk 2077 presentation room in the West Hall. The room had already been closed off for press and industry appointments only, though that didn’t stop a few folks from hanging around outside of it for hours at a time.
Hall recounts how, during an appointment on Thursday, Hideo Kojima showed up to get a good look at the Cyberpunk 2077 demo. Game director Adam Badowski was looking to greet Kojima and maybe even grab a picture with him, but that’s not how things ended up.
“I also noticed that the crowd had gotten a little larger near the small, private space that CD Projekt had rented out on the second floor of the convention center. There were no more presentations scheduled, so these people weren’t waiting to be seated. They were just sorta standing there, leaning against the walls with their swag bags tossed casually over one shoulder,” Hall said.
These were fans and not members of the media, based on the bags they were carrying.
And when Badowski tried to greet Kojima and give him one of the limited edition statues from the event, the crowd went a bit nuts. “People began to push and jostle, reaching over and through Kojima’s companions to get closer to him. One person, a member of the press, actually pushed past Badowski with a felt-tipped pen, trying to get Kojima to sign his badge. When Kojima shrank away this individual turned around to snap a selfie,” Hall explained.
He then talked about how the ESA had bumped up security at the event, complete with having bags searched, patrol dogs on the floor and the entrance to the press room being guarded by a police officer. But clearly that wasn’t enough when this incident took place.
“A crush of people somehow formed well away from the convention, in front of a door marked ‘by invitation only.’ Maybe they were hoping to see a celebrity? If that was the goal, I guess they got their wish,” Hall continued.
Alas, Badowski never got to talk to Kojima. “We have to get him out of here,” one of Kojima’s handlers explained before they disappeared. As a result, he was very upset.
Hall concluded, “E3 is going through growing pains, but there’s no reason it can’t have its cake and let fans in too. Some events, like the Tokyo Game Show, have different days for fans and the press. People want to meet their idols, and that’s fine, but this wasn’t the most appropriate time or place for it, nor was it the safest.”
He’s got a point. There’s no reason public attendees should have been up by the meeting rooms, especially hanging around a demo that they wouldn’t have been able to get in to see. And someone could’ve easily been hurt in the scuffle, particularly Kojima. (And we know about folks getting hurt at this event, as one of our own writers ended up with a cracked rib during a press conference.)
(Thanks to Polygon for the info!)