Though some naysayers predicted at the end of the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit that there would be no 2008 event, the Entertainment Software Association today announced that its flagship trade show would indeed be returning next year.
Not only will the 2008 E3 Media and Business Summit take place July 15-17, but it will also be returning to its old stomping grounds. After a fling in nearby Santa Monica, the ESA is returning E3 to Los Angeles, specifically to the Los Angeles Convention Center, the cavernous home of the gigantic spectacle that used to be the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Despite the change in venue, the 2008 show will remain a smaller-scale show. The ESA has said that once again the event will be an invite-only affair, and while the group didn't specifically address whether or not there would be an exhibit show floor, it did say the summit "will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years." Instead the show will focus on press events and business meetings.
Some aspects of the old E3 are expected to make their return. ESA president Michael Gallagher skipped the traditional state-of-the-industry address last year because he was still playing catchup, having just been appointed to his position two months prior to the event. At the time, an ESA representative said Gallagher would be delivering such a speech at the 2008 event. The E3 conference program, a series of lectures and panels on emerging industry concerns and other topics, was also scuttled last year, but the ESA today hinted it would be returning in some form.
"Our program of high-level meetings, networking and personal dialogue, and industry-shaping panel discussions will capture the explosive growth we have seen in 2007 and lay the foundation for the 2008 video game marketplace," Gallagher said in a statement.
As in previous years, both ESA member and nonmember companies will be able to participate in the show.