ESA confirms much smaller E3 in '07

[UPDATE 2] Annual expo to become "more intimate event" and will focus on press events, small meetings; EA, Sony, and Microsoft behind push to downsize, sources say.

The Entertainment Software Association has confirmed reports that its Electronic Entertainment Expo will be undergoing big changes for next year. According to the trade group, the convention will be "evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities."

"It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry 'mega-show,'" said ESA president Doug Lowenstein in a statement. "By refocusing on a highly targeted event, we think we can do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole, and our members are energized about creating this new E3."

Prefacing its statements with the caveat "as currently envisioned," the ESA said E3 2007 will still be held in Los Angeles, but won't have the "large trade-show environment" of previous years. The city has previously estimated that the show brings in about $20 million in direct spending by the 60,000-plus attendees and exhibitors.

Sources have revealed to GameSpot that several publishers--including Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and THQ--were among those pushing hardest for changes to the event. The companies' motives were monetary in origin--floor space alone costs exhibitors over $12 million, and that number doesn't include the cost of building out large-scale, elaborate booths or on-site marketing campaigns within the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition, an estimated additional $50 to $70 million is spent on city services such as hotels, entertainment, and transportation, a vast portion of that coming from exhibitor employees.

Additional sources have informed GameSpot of how the ESA will recoup the massive amount of income it will lose from the fees it charges to E3 exhibitors and on-site marketers. According to several sources, a number of major publishers have agreed to pay the ESA as much as $5 million each to make up for lost revenues.

GameSpot has also learned that senior ESA staff met with officials from the City of Los Angeles this morning to discuss the impact that having a scaled-down event will have on the metropolis. Attorney Daniel Offner of Offner and Anderson, PC, a law firm that represents numerous E3 exhibitors past and present, thinks the city is likely to respond negatively to a smaller show. "I'd be surprised if the city took this lying down," Offner told GameSpot. "I'm sure the city will take a close look at their [contractual] rights and try and protect them."

One group that will clearly suffer from a downsized E3 is Los Angeles taxi drivers. "The youngsters spend a lot of money, and they don't stay in one space," said Nettabai Ahmed, president of Los Angeles' Independent Taxi. "For taxis, it was really a good convention for us...A regular convention boosts the drivers' income by about 25 to 30 percent. But E3, it goes up to 50 percent boost in their income."

Ahmed estimated that each of the city's 4,000 to 5,000 taxi drivers takes in an extra $500 to $700 during the expo. That's not only the largest bump in income the drivers' get each year, Ahmed said, but the largest they've received in decades, bested only by the 1994 World Cup and the 1984 Olympics.

So what will the new E3 look like? The ESA isn't saying...yet. "The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months," said Lowenstein. "[It] remains an important event for the industry, and we want to keep that sense of excitement and interest, ensuring that the human and financial resources crucial to its success can be deployed productively to create an exciting new format to meet the needs of the industry. The new event ensures that there will be an effective and more efficient way for companies to get information to media, consumers, and others."

[UPDATE 3] Since this article went to press, Lowenstein has revealed E3 will be moved to July, renamed, and severely reduced in size.

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Discussion

745 comments
SS11SS
SS11SS

BOOOOOOOO! I bet EA had something to do with this . . .

Threepwood17
Threepwood17

that's a bunch of crap. now it's not even anything worth making public. they might as well just spread out all the events all throughout the year... I so wanted to go too...

jonesyboy1
jonesyboy1

Hmmmm should be called E2 now as the entertainment has been removed.

SuperbGamer
SuperbGamer

E3 did seem more like a circus nowadays. Maybe they made the right move.

zip86
zip86

honestly, E3 is a trade show for game insdustry folks. the only thing the general consumer gets from E3 is information on new games and consoles. They can do that wihout spending bunch of money and instead, use it to make better games. this reformatting is very good for us, the consumers.

Cpt-Lemi
Cpt-Lemi

(-_-) ;; ... wonderful... I've always wanted to go as well, and I had some friends in a private design group that wanted to take me next year as well... and now, all these hopes of ours, flushed down the drain to the benefit of what?

shizwill03
shizwill03

....... After reading this over and trying to not scream I guess this will be for the best, cost wise and industry wise. There will be more focus on the games and whatnot wthout all the "Pizazz" of the prevous E3's. ...... But I am stil mad cause I NEVER GOT TO GO!!!! ;_; I was planning to go next year, but now that is down the drain. :(

thomasonfa
thomasonfa

Smaller E3 will save the companies money because games cost so much, prehaps we will see more from the reporters because they will be able to spend more time with the games. So it will not be just standing in long lines waiting, also, just think about the game that they don't put on the main floor, let that Assassin game, they will get more of the limelight even in the earlier versions of the game. I think it is a great idea, it should also get the content out to us faster because the company aren't rushing just to make a E3 demo. This may even mean that the demos will come to us faster via Xbox live or PS3.

dcgames
dcgames

I don't see what the big deal is. So what if they downsize E3. Most of that was just glitz and glitter anyway. Cut out the meaningless fluff (like booth babes) and maybe then they can focus on what really matters.....like the games.

Camocracker
Camocracker

its not like any of you chumps were getting into E3 EVER anyways very few of us are media outlets or game designers with access to the inside... chill out...

MartyredShadow
MartyredShadow

But... the size of the show was the entire point of E3... We can't take this lying down! Everybody, start writing semi-coherent angry messages to Bill Gates in 1337! BRING BACK T3H UBER 5W33t BIG E3!!

mendakfizz
mendakfizz

Noooooo!!! Tell me its not happening!! Nooooooo!!!

ragin_massaih
ragin_massaih

Sony and Microsoft = GREED they dont wana put a few quid in for its fans? bs Ninty always spent the most and had the best E3 show, and did they moan?? nope

hshiek911
hshiek911

Complete Bull**** whoever came up with this should go to hell

Omihalcon
Omihalcon

This is all pretty bs *glaring at Sony, MS and EA* not happy at all... Oh yeah and MacUser511 panda comment is possibly the wisest thing i'v ever read :D

MacUser511
MacUser511

When one panda decides to downsize a lot of other pandas' favorite show, that makes a lot of sad and blood thirsty pandas.

Elyoshi
Elyoshi

Here comes the big guy, taking another steaming crap on all the little guys again, AND most of their consumers, because its cheaper. This brings up a deep philosophical question. How much money blowing out your fat rich anus do you need before your satisfied? The ESA is going to regret this later on, and the'll either try to bring it back, or it will just die completely. Something tells me a fancy little spreadsheet and a well put together powerpoint presentaition won't do as much for the hype of a system as kickass unveiling, trailers, and all that other good stuff. From what Iv'e heard so far, they took this huge event, sucked all the energy out of it, and made it smaller. All you people trying to sugar coat it, I GUARENTEE you, you'll be one sad panda as you walk away from the L.A. Convention Center next year, with your shwag bag filled with nothing but brochures, your mind filled with nothing but technical info and chart information. And as a lone tear rolls down your eye, you try to remember the E3s of the past. The ones you actually had FUN at.

goku2000
goku2000

I'm all for downsizing, but like it was mentioned before, this is really gonna hurt L.A. in terms of local economy.

Hobbies230
Hobbies230

Thank you! This is great! A good decision to make it smaller, and no, that is not sarcasm.

_Sam_
_Sam_

This is outrageous

majorwes
majorwes

here's the thing that gets me is what about retailers that helps sell the games(like me)!!! ebgames, gamestop, or whatever should have some creditbility on going, because we actually sell the damn game. and if we actually go we can help sells right???

apokilipse
apokilipse

Not as fun for the fans, but probably the right move.

Flimsyfishy
Flimsyfishy

haha, i like grapes! eventhough this will mark the end of the huge rush called e3, i think they might have something up their sleeves...

trolley98
trolley98

Those so called "fans" are also the consumers of those videogames these companies make.

yohancebailey
yohancebailey

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SleepyCrat
SleepyCrat

It's a smart move by the gaming industry. It's not like the new games aren't going to get the same coverage. It's surely not going to hurt them on sales if they are selling quality games anyway. The only bad part is the lost of what the event will probably stop being, which is as someone told me "A Mardi Gras for video gamers".

Khoo1992
Khoo1992

ESA has made wrong choice, they shouldn't do that

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

as long as we get more info on games and maybe see $50 million more put into games it's for the better

almokla
almokla

You can easily know why by reading the list of supporters... Wii's huge success this E3 made them realize that the money spent on this event could be spent on advertising their products, games...etc instead of using it to fail to impress people. watching the video of people running through Sony's booth to get to Nintendo's made me wonder how do Sony executives feel about this! i know I'd be pissed if I was one of them.

uyfdx
uyfdx

This is great! This is the best thing to happen to the game industry in years! Now that publishers don't have to spend millions of dollars on senseless E3 booths they can use that money to make more and better games. This is not something that is only happening in the game industry. I work in the textile industry and we used to have a show called "The Super Show" that was like the E3 of textiles. It doesn't exist anymore because the market has become highly specialized. I think what we will see in the future is more specialized trade shows for games. For example there may be a console show and a PC show at different times of the year. Or shows that focus on action games and shows that focus on childrens games. Who knows exactly but for all you nay sayers stop holding on to the past. You have to realize that while sometimes change can be hard to accept it is usually the best way to go. If you want advances in technology and better games there is going to have to be advances in how those games are presented and exhibitied. The standard E3 model simply doesn't fit the current shape of the industry and is a complete waste of money. Most of the info from E3 was widely available on the internet instantly. Why not have virtual E3 show every year. Instead of paying millions for a real convention they could pay hundreds to develop web content for everyone to see inculding the average consumer. We could all goto "E3" from our arm chairs. Just a thought;,

BORGIAS
BORGIAS

NO WOLFOFTHE PACK, WE ARE TALKING BECAUSE WE SPEND THE MONEY THAT GOES TO THE POCKETS OF THOSE IDIOTS WHO DESIDED TO KILL E3. WE HAVE THE FIRST AND THE LAST WORD ABOUT EVERYTHING BECAUSE OUR TASTES, OUR NEEDS AND OUR WALLETS HAVE SHAPED THE INDUSTRY IN ITS CURRENT FORM. THE ELIMINATION OF E3 IS A SLAP IN OUR FACES BECAUSE IT DESTROYS THE PRESTIGE THAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE PAST YEARS, THE PRESTIGE THAT FORCES THE MEDIA TO ADMIT AT LAST THAT VIDEOGAMES IS ONE OF THE LEADING FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT AND NOT JUST A HOBBIE FOR KIDS AND IDLE PERSONS. NOW WHAT; WE HAVE SHOWING TO THE WORLD THAT WE DONT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BATTLE AND OVERCOME THE OTHER FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT, THAT WE ARE AND WE'RE ALWAYS GONNA BE IN THE MINOR LEAGUE. CAN WE ACCEPT THIS INSULT;

KGB002
KGB002

THIS is BS FU E3 *cry*cry*

milkweed989
milkweed989

i think im the only one who likes this since ive always been going to e3 no matter what since my dad works for n.a. sony but its much better for the people 2 that dont go since there will be alot more interviews u get to no what the director really wanted the game to do thats my view. cya next year :-P

ou661
ou661

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

indestined
indestined

WHAT THE HELL! everytime i look for my own post its gone. but everyone else can find it!!! this is crap.

moparmaggot
moparmaggot

As soon as I get closer to becomeing old enough to get into E3, they go and do something like this..... Son of a b!#%h. -Casey Cannon

-L-U-I-S-
-L-U-I-S-

Damn, $12 million for a floor space?

LanceK17
LanceK17

Peice of monkey sh*t !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

icelandsamurai
icelandsamurai

BS!!!!!! Geez, why can't big companies ever do anything good for us?

wesle
wesle

moving the date could be better move. but downsizeing it because sony wasted billions on there system and they are just trying to make up for their stupid move. its not our fault that they buned up the $5 million doller chip that programs the PS3s. and now they are just trying to cut costs where they can cause the AVARAGE gamer has to pay rent not spend it on a gameing system. think Sony think

modstark9
modstark9

nnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

WolfPac_Ite
WolfPac_Ite

"GameQ22 This is all Nintendo's fault (very indirectly). GameSpot said that Sony M$ and EA were among the hardest pushers for a smaller E3... no Nintendo? Remeber the video of everyone running straight past the Sony booth to see the Wii? Sony spent millions on there Booths and Nintendo steals the show. Well Sony and others went and cryed to daddy (ESA), and now they got what they want, a cheaper smaller E3." Really? Cool. Where is the video?