ESA exec 'confident' in E3 stability

Senior VP Rich Taylor talks to GameSpot about balancing spectacle and business with the trade show's latest winning formula.

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It has been a turbulent handful of years for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, with the show changing dates, sizes, and locations in search of a format that will please attendees and organizers alike. However, this year's show just might do the trick.

The once and future home of E3.

In a recent interview, the Entertainment Software Association senior vice president of communication and industry affairs told GameSpot that after this year's event, the E3 format may finally regain some much-needed stability.

"I'm an optimist and I think what we have now is the right hybrid of what E3--for 2009 certainly--needs and should be," Taylor said. "I have great confidence that everyone who attended will say, 'That was the show we've been waiting for, and now we've got what we want and we need.'"

After the May 2006 E3 drew more than 60,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center, the organizing Entertainment Software Association determined it was no longer the best way to get business done. For 2007, the trade group packed up and headed for nearby Santa Monica to hold a stripped-down E3 in July, with an invite-only guest list of roughly 5,000.

With that show drawing a mixed reaction from attendees, the ESA moved E3 back to the LACC for 2008 but kept the month the same and the attendance number tightly capped. This year, E3 will remain in the LACC, but the ESA is opening the doors to roughly 40,000 attendees and is moving the show to take place the first week of June.

Taylor said the group is trying to hit a sweet spot where the show still retains the eye-catching "pop and sizzle" of older, spectacle-driven E3s but doesn't become so bloated as to compromise a publisher's ability to get business done.

"On sight, people may say 'it looks like the old E3,' but I think there are small improvements here and there that are going to lead to a greater experience for all the key attendees," Taylor said.

According to the executive, early indicators, such as attendee registration and the number of participating exhibitors, are all "really positive."

E3 2009 is set to take place June 2-4 at the LACC. For more from the interview with Taylor, including an update on the Video Game Voters Network and its stance on security circumvention tools for use in homebrew game development, check out this week's episode of GameSpot's The HotSpot.

Discussion

8 comments
Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Hopefully it becomes much more interesting but not a freak show or anything. Either way as long as great games and big announcements are made, I'll be happy.

Hekynn
Hekynn

Wish I can go to E3 that would be soo cool! Well maybe next year. =(

pszone
pszone

thats whats been happening they said they get the show back every week but they look at the chart that it was bad they cant have every week show but i think this one will be the bang one for gamespot but at E3 09 will suffer last year because when all the stupid games came out last year and this year they didnt sell a lot in the uk so i guess they didnt have a great games and for ps3 and xbox360 well i think it be the same but hope to get better E3 09 .

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

Interesting...I think "confident" is the word they used when they scaled down E3 a few years ago. Hopefully they are not talking to the same guy.

tybearmvt
tybearmvt

I agree with Mavrick with one major addition. The E3 is STILL scaled down, all be it not as much. It is STILL a "work related" trade show, and it STILL is going to pale in comparison to the pre-07 shows.

nappan
nappan

What are they going to say in a press release? "We're doomed... DOOOOOMED!!!!" come on...This isn't news in any sense of the word... this is PR.

Maverick4Ever
Maverick4Ever

I'm glad E3 is returning to its roots. E3 is more than just a trade show. It is an event that everyone, worldwide, knows about. It is one of the defining aspects of the industry. To scale it down like they have the past few years is a sham, and clearly people agree, since they have now decided to go back to the only true format.