E3 renamed, rescheduled, and drastically resized

[UPDATE] ESA president reveals 2007 expo will be held in July at a Los Angeles hotel--and will only have around 5,000 attendees.

While next year's newly downsized Electronic Entertainment Expo remains slated to take place in its longtime location of Los Angeles, the show is apparently going to be leaving behind its traditional May date on the calendar.

An industry analyst and a representative of the City of Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau have both told GameSpot that the event's organizers at the Entertainment Software Association mentioned moving the show to July.

The idea behind the move is to give publishers more time to polish their holiday releases, the analyst said. Publishers apparently weren't pleased at rushing their schedules to have late-year releases ready for the show each May.

[UPDATE] This afternoon, ESA president Douglas Lowenstein confirmed for GameSpot that E3 2007 will indeed take place in July, though he could not pin down specific dates. He also mentioned that the event will no longer be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but instead will take place inside conference rooms at "at least one" hotel in the city.

[UPDATE 2] As one might expect, the relocation from the sprawling LACC means that attendance at E3 2007 will be just a fraction of the previous year. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Lowenstein said he expects around 5,000 people to be on-hand at next year's event, way down from the 60,000-plus-size mob that stormed the expo this past May.

Lowenstein said the drastic reduction was in response to exhibitor dissatisfaction with the spectacle E3 had become. "Some companies were frustrated because E3 was such a huge, sweeping event it became increasingly difficult to get their messages out," he told the WSJ.

Lowenstein also revealed to the WSJ that E3 is also getting a new name. Starting next year, the event will be called the "E3 Media Festival," hinting that it may offer more than just games.

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