October 30, 2008 - Many of you have been following E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo) for years, and I'm sure some could even admit that going to E3 at some point is one of your dreams. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like E3 is going to open its doors to the general public anytime soon, but at least the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has finally taken the hint and promises E3 09 will be much more remarkable than the two previous ones. We're not completely sure the new format will be exactly what everyone's looking for, but I guess it's a start. Read on to find out all the details about the upcoming E3.
Where will it take place?
Atlanta. No, I'm kidding. That was just in '97 and '98. E3 2009 will go back, once again, to the Los Angeles Convention Center. It's been proven that L.A. is the place to be, as most of the game industry resides in the State of California. The L.A. Convention Center is large enough to host a tremendous amount of booths and welcome thousands of people, though we have to say it is a bit of a maze. Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts held their press conferences off-site, so it may just be that way again, but of course, the main show floor and all the demo booths will stay where they're supposed to, the L.A.C.C.
Who will be able to attend? Can I go, please?
Due to the awkward format of the last two E3s and a few other reasons, big video game companies like Activision and LucasArts felt forced to leave the ESA. In fact, Activision didn't even make an appearance at E3 last year and instead decided to have its own gig elsewhere. Same thing happened with several other smaller publishers and developers that didn't even belong to the ESA to start with. In my opinion, by limiting E3 to ESA affiliates only, they shot themselves in the foot.
However, this year things will be a little different. Non-ESA members will be welcome to have their own game-related exhibit, as long as they're willing to pay a fee. Publishers, developers, retail, marketing, and media outlets will be the only ones invited. The ESA wants to distinguish itself from the successful TGS and GC trade shows by not inviting those responsible for the success of video games - the consumers.
Industry insiders who meet the requirements will be able to apply for an invitation by registering online, and the ESA will decide who gets to attend on a per case basis. I hope this means we'll get to bring a bigger crew next time!
The ESA promises to open its doors to around 40,000 people, versus the measly 4,000+ attendees we saw at E3 2008. Even though most people feel like E3 should be open to the public at least a couple of days, it's not going to be that way in E3 2009. Sure, E3 needs to provide the perfect ambiance for business, but we still want all the fun and games E3 used to be!
Hopefully someday the ESA will reconsider and anyone will be able to attend E3. As of right now, you better make sure your gaming blog is a hit, or start using those great contacts you have in order to make your way in!