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Four Takeaways From E3 2014

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Even weeks after its close, the Electronic Entertainment Expo's (E3) 2014 show continues to generate exciting buzz around the globe. From June 10-12, E3 drew tens of thousands of people to Los Angeles for the unveiling of the most anticipated video game releases and related products for the coming year. New virtual reality technology, ranging from headsets to treadmills, and graphics engines designed to power upcoming titles for next-gen consoles highlighted the innovation of the entertainment software industry.

E3 2014 is filled with moments that stay with you months after the show -- such as being the first to play an upcoming sports title or catching a world premiere glimpse of an anticipated action game -- but today I want to highlight four specific takeaways from the show that illustrate the vitality and dynamism of this most creative of entertainment industries.

1. Video games have mass appeal and the video game audience just keeps growing. Nearly 49,000 video game industry professionals, investor analysts, journalists, and retailers from more than 100 countries descended upon the Los Angeles Convention Center for E3 2014 and approximately 200 exhibitors showcased the latest in computer and video game hardware and software. How popular was E3? More than 12 million unique viewers across the globe watched live coverage by accessing Twitch's livestream from their computer, mobile device, or console. In addition, Twitch set a single day viewership record, with 5.9 million unique viewers watching the E3 livestream on June 10.

2. E3 social media activity hit an all-time high, highlighting a new mode of engagement. During the run of the event, E3 became a top topic on all major social networks. The show enjoyed a record-breaking year for social media engagement as people around the world shared more than two million posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. E3 also dominated social media trending lists with more than 100 unique E3-related trending topics in the U.S. and worldwide.

3. Content is king and the future promises more. E3 2014 featured innovative virtual reality headsets and new games that enable players to engage with rich, diverse content across various devices. New titles such as PlayStation's The Order: 1886, Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. WiiU, 2K Games' Evolve, Electronic Arts' Battlefield: Hardline, Ubisoft's The Division, and Microsoft's Sunset Overdrive were among the must-see games of the show.

Announcements of remastered classics such as Microsoft's Halo: Master Chief Collection, Double Fine's Grim Fandango, and the confirmation of a new WiiU game for Nintendo's revered The Legend of Zelda franchise, also generated tremendous excitement.

4. Next-gen talent is growing in today's universities. At E3 2014, college game design programs shared the spotlight with the industry's best. Entwined, the first game from Pixel Opus, a studio that draws top designers from video game development programs at Carnegie Mellon and San Jose State University made its debut on the show floor.

Five more colleges represented the future of game design in the E3 College Game Competition. Teams from the University of Utah, University of Denver, Lawrence Technological University, University of Texas at Austin, and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) showcased original games just mere feet from major publishers such as Square-Enix and Warner Bros. Interactive. A blue-ribbon panel of video game industry professionals honored the team of students from SCAD as the winner of the 2014 E3 competition for submitting the original video game Prisma.

E3 2014 highlighted what the entertainment software industry is really all about -- innovation, creativity, and risk-taking -- and showed the world it can continue to expect even more exciting developments in the months and years ahead. If you missed part of the E3 action, you can catch up on all of this year's excitement by visiting here.