As followers of IGN, we’ve always wanted to attend one of the many meet-ups they do for their fans at their home office in San Francisco. Living in NC (with no other reason to be in CA), this was always an impossible task. Finally, we had our chance to meet the staff when IGN (and Hot Pockets) set-up a community gathering in Los Angeles the Saturday before E3.
The party took place in an obscure little theater on a very quiet and somewhat desolate part of town. The room was an upstairs space just big enough for the crowd to squeeze into. There were dark blue lights, lots of chatter, a small stage, heart thumping music, and some free swag in the form of Hot Pocket t-shirts and plushies. There were also some playable video games, because, come on, IGN knows their fans.
One of the most impressive things about the meet-up was the number of IGN personalities in attendance. We thought there might be 3 or 4 people, but there were at least 10, maybe even more. We were also pleasantly surprised at the genuine attitude of the staff toward their supporters. They weren’t just there for a quick hello or hastily taken picture. Instead, each took the time to have an in-depth conversation and really get to know something about each person they met.
One of the more popular people of the evening was Alanah Pearce. In fact, she was so in demand, that we found ourselves in a competition of sorts with a group of 4 to see who could get to her the fastest. Unfortunately, the group beat us to the punch, sneakily maneuvering two of their party in front of us while the other two grabbed the IGN star’s attention.
Although disappointed with our defeat, we resolved to not give up, stood our ground, and patiently held our “next in line” position. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we had our chance to say hello.
We started off with a picture and then went into a conversation about what it’s like to be a female in a male dominated industry. We talked Phoenix Wright, Root Letter, snow, Alanah’s background as a broadcaster and her desire to be an inspiration to young girls who might want to have a career in the game industry. When our conversation came to an end, we offered Ms.Pearce a GameCuddle t-shirt, which she accepted with a smile.
Next on the list of people we wanted to meet was Jose Otero the (now former) head of our favorite IGN podcast; the Nintendo Voice Chat (NVC). Our first reaction at seeing Mr. Otero was shock at how tall he really is. Once the initial shock wore off, our conversing commenced.
Jose started things off by asking us which game we were most excited to see at E3. After we answered, “Super Mario Odyssey,” he proceeded to give us advice on how to achieve our goal of playing the most sought-after game of the show. Next, Mr. Otero inquired about our background and what brought us to the convention. We explained that we were attending as part of the general public this year, but had attended as retailers in the past. We then had opportunity to discuss some of the challenges of being a game store owner and the ups and downs of running your own business.
Lastly, we told Jose how much we love the NVC podcast to which he responded with multiple thanks and humility. It was obvious that he appreciated the support of his fans and that he understood, without them, he could not do what he loves to do.
Right after speaking to Jose, we had the honor of meeting Peer Schneider, one of IGN’s founders and current General Manager. Mr. Schneider is very much the business minded professional that you would imagine him to be. He’s also an extremely detail oriented and observant man who, while talking to us, took brief moments here and there to make sure his employees (who were working behind the scenes at the event) had what they needed.
We talked extensively about the general public attending E3, companies who have decided to no longer participate in the conference, the expense for a company to do an all-out set-up at the convention, and some of the things that the ESA could possibly do differently with E3 in the future.
Last but certainly not least, we met Naomi Kyle, who is as lovely in real life as she is on camera. She was the one person who constantly circled the room to make sure that everyone who was in attendance had a chance to talk to her and get a photo. She allowed us to take 2 pictures since the first one didn’t come out as hoped. She also accepted a GameCuddle t-shirt at the end of our time together and was genuinely excited about the fact that she was the recipient of some free swag.
As we exited the event, we noticed Peer, Jose and a few others were gathered talking to some folks outdoors. As we passed by, Peer observed we were leaving, and said goodbye.
The IGN meet-up was as much fun as we’d imagined it would be. We greatly appreciate Hot Pockets sponsoring the event. We’re also grateful to the IGN staff who took time out of their busy schedules to spend an evening with their fans.
Jose Otero recently announced he will be leaving IGN for a new opportunity at Nintendo. We wish Mr. Otero the best and will miss his presence on the NVC.