The biggest video game conference in the US is about to take place ― here’s what you need to know

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Grand Theft Auto trailer / Rockstar

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is next week, and the conference is often a huge marketing event for video-game companies.

Some of the companies have been beat by leaks ahead of the conference, with new games and consoles being detailed beforehand.

In years past, video-game companies have fared well following the conference.

Over the last three years, Activision, EA Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Gamestop have all outperformed the market by an average of 9% in the 45 days following the conference.

Gamestop, the video-game retailer, has fared the best, increasing an average of 17% after E3, according to Michael J. Olsen, a senior research analyst from Piper Jaffray.

Past performance is no indicator of future results, as Olsen points out, and some companies are changing their game plan going into the conference.


Activision Blizzard (Ticker: ATVI)

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Thomson Reuters

The development company famous for major video-game franchises like “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” has an odd strategy for marketing its games this year.

“Activision will not have an E3 booth to offer a hands on preview of Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, but will rely on Sony (potentially Microsoft) presentations to show off the title,” Olsen said in an investor note.

“We expect most investors to focus on CoD: Infinite Warfare, which received a less than enthusiastic reaction to its initial trailer.”

Activision plans on hosting its own event in September to launch its new “Call of Duty” game, where it is offering $3.5 million in total prize money to fans.

Olsen has rated Activision a buy heading into E3, despite expecting no new announcements and lack of a booth presence. Activision Blizzard shares are up 1.32% so far this year.


Electronic Arts (Ticker: EA)

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“Titanfall 2” screenshot.
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Respawn Entertainment

Known for games like “Titanfall” and the new “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst,” EA is expected to have a big showing at E3.

At a press event before the conference begins, EA is expected to preview its big games like “Titanfall 2,” and has teased an entirely new game or series, according to Olsen.

“EA has also historically offered peeks into its lineup for next year and beyond,” Olsen said.

The video-game maker has seen a 15% increase in its share price so far this year, and Olsen rates the company a buy.


Take-Two Interactive (Ticker: TTWO)

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Rock star Games

“NBA 2k16,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” and “Battleborn” all hail from Take-Two Interactive.

Like Activsion Blizzard, the company is not expected to announce new titles at E3. This is slightly disappointing to investors, as several popular franchises, such as “Red Dead,” have a new installments coming soon, according to Olsen.

“Historically, Take-Two and Rockstar have used their own channels and media for major game announcements,” Olsen said.

“Consequently, we do not anticipate a major announcement, such as a release window for Red Dead or announcement of any other new title, at this year’s E3.”

The company has posted a 16% increase in share price so far this year, and Olsen has rated the company a buy.


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