Today, I went in search of the longest lines at E3. I lurked in the corridors of the Los Angeles Convention Center in to ask gamers how long they’d been standing around, waiting for a turn on their favorite games.
The longest wait I discovered was at the Bethesda stand, for a chance to play one of the company's VR efforts, like Doom, Skyrim and Fallout 4. I spoke to a small group of friends, standing at the back of the line. E3’s organizers provided an assistant to warn people about the length of the wait. The Bethesda fans knew they were in for a five-hour wait, that the demo would be ten minutes long and that they were only allowed to play one of the games.
All of them agreed it would be worth the wait, even though they had hoped for, and anticipated, shorter waiting times.
Most of the lines I saw were for about an hour. This included the line for Switch game Arms, which is out this week. The main draw for these E3 visitors was a free t-shirt. Tchotchkes and hats were also being given out for anyone playing Super Mario Odyssey, although that line was a good two hours.
This year's E3 has been more crowded in years past, with 15,000 consumers allowed to attend. Over the years, lines to play demos have always been long, but consumers seem more willing to wait for long periods than people in the business.
Everyone I spoke to was reasonably happy to wait in line and some expressed a sense of pride in their devotion. The vast majority were in groups of friends. I saw no evidence of line-skipping or complaints. Everything was orderly and friendly. If you really love something, it's usually worth the wait.