ESA to downsize E3?

Industry sources bolster reports that E3 may undergo <i>big</i> changes; details due from ESA Monday.

GameSpot has learned that tomorrow the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will announce changes to the format and scale of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the game industry event that typically draws in excess of 60,000 attendees and includes over 400 exhibitors.

On July 28, the Web site of UK trade magazine MCV reported discussions had taken place between the ESA and E3 exhibitors that addressed the future of the annual trade show. GameSpot spoke with informed game industry sources late Friday and Saturday and learned that the show would radically shrink in size and move from its usual Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) venue to a smaller location.

Sources said that rather than fill the 540,000 square feet of the cavernous LACC, the show will take place at a location that would support exhibitors in meeting room space only, with companies showing their wares to a select group of attendees numbering in the hundreds rather than thousands.

One reason behind the downsizing of the show can be attributed to the dollar cost of the event to exhibitors, including the demands on companies to assign large numbers of staff to focus on the show, expenses associated with travel to the show, and the added expense to polish game builds and demos to be shown to attendees.

While the largest of E3 exhibitors could support their own marketing and promotion of upcoming games, the smaller companies which rely on the attention that E3 generates may have no recourse other than to market their games independently. But a smaller E3 would impact more than the game industry: the local hotel and related entertainment and service industries in Los Angeles take in more than $50 million during E3--the estimated amount attendees and businesses spend over the course of the three-day event.

One source added that the new format of the show may actually result in a more productive environment to demo games to the media, although they stopped short of full disclosure: "My lips are sealed until after the weekend," the source said.

An official statement from the ESA outlining the changes will be released on Monday, numerous sources said. E-mails to the ESA for comment were not returned at press time.

Written By

Discussion

319 comments
Fladfisken
Fladfisken

Oh, bu-hu... "Now we will newer hear about new games... EVER.... it is the end of the world as we know it.... aaaaaaaaaarghhh!!" To say that there will newer be anythiing like E3 is moronic.... Ignorante spader....!!!!

rpgsuperfan
rpgsuperfan

"WE HAVE THE FIRST AND THE LAST WORD ABOUT EVERYTHING BECAUSE OUR TASTES, OUR NEEDS AND OUR WALLETS HAVE SHAPED THE VIDEOGAME INDUSTRY IN ITS CURRENT FORM." I find this far more insulting than the news... Our wallets? It makes my heart ache when I hear people making these sort of shallow comments. I really do think this will be a good thing. It'll stop the sort of marketing monopoly big companies are using to sell their **** games and give smaller companies that can't afford to attend the E3 of today a chance to break out.

BORGIAS
BORGIAS

WE HAVE THE FIRST AND THE LAST WORD ABOUT EVERYTHING BECAUSE OUR TASTES, OUR NEEDS AND OUR WALLETS HAVE SHAPED THE VIDEOGAME 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;

Fezilla
Fezilla

tFighterPilot, you do realize that Wednesday's comic is different than Monday's, right? =p http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/07/31 But yeah, if this ends up boiling down to "Everything E3 has, minus the glamor" then I'm not too upset. I just always wanted to attend XD

Mario512
Mario512

Well screws my plans of goin to E3

NegtvGhostrider
NegtvGhostrider

Now that I think about it...this is actually going to be REALLY good for small developers that make innovative and unique games. Instead of being completely overshadowed by an EA booth that squirts out a new Madden every four months with an updated roster and a few higher-res textures these developers have an opportunity to stand on equal footing. As long as I can download cool demos from Xbox Live for free then I'm happy saving $1000 in tickets. I have a feeling that some game developers that sell their game on nothing but hype won't have the attention that they used to. Games are now going to have to be *gasp* good to get the media's attention! Hopefully this will mean we're going to get something other than the next "Halo-killer" that ends up being an average FPS or have an action game with a protagonist that smolders with generic rage.

SonicTH
SonicTH

"Given the tiny percentage of gamers that actually go to E3, I don't see what all the fuss is about. As the previous poster mentioned, its too bloody expensive, the costs are detrimental to small companies because they can't afford it, and the actual point of the expo - new games and technologoy - is consistantly getting overshadowed by stupide childish crap like booth-babes. Now maybe they can finally get down to doing what they are supposed to do, designing games and tech. Think about it; websites like Gamespot will still get all the screen-shots, all the updates, all the previews, but it'll be cheaper for all involved, which means maybe they'll get more of everything. So the few gamers who can afford to go don't get to anymore...forgive me if I don't cry for them." Its still the largest and most important gaming trade show in the US. It deserves the scale it gets simply because of the nature of what can and will happen at it. Big news deserves a big stage.

Hell3ent
Hell3ent

Given the tiny percentage of gamers that actually go to E3, I don't see what all the fuss is about. As the previous poster mentioned, its too bloody expensive, the costs are detrimental to small companies because they can't afford it, and the actual point of the expo - new games and technologoy - is consistantly getting overshadowed by stupide childish crap like booth-babes. Now maybe they can finally get down to doing what they are supposed to do, designing games and tech. Think about it; websites like Gamespot will still get all the screen-shots, all the updates, all the previews, but it'll be cheaper for all involved, which means maybe they'll get more of everything. So the few gamers who can afford to go don't get to anymore...forgive me if I don't cry for them.

Dyneus
Dyneus

Think for a minute guys before you post another comment whining about the end of E3. This year we were all able to download awesome high-def trailers straight from the major game companies. In addition we got tons of cool videos of people playing or watching demos. Why do you think they still can't continue doing this, except instead of doing the same thing over and over over 3 days for 10,000 people, its only for a few celebrity guests instead?? Instead of wasting million of dollars telling a bunch of unhygenic wannabe game journalists what the "next awesome game" is, they can target consumers directly, and thats exactly what game companies want. Companies don't need to waste money on physical trade shows anymore, its all about hyping games through the internet. I'm betting there's going to be a central E3 website that even small game developers will be able to use.

vaejas
vaejas

Wither Kentia Hall? Ohoho... WITHER!?! Eh, hope they don't cancel the Tokyo Game Show before I get there. Biggest. Evar.

LordTravanix
LordTravanix

Say it ain't so!!!! Man...they are just doing their best to gut gamers left and right these days...

SgtSilock
SgtSilock

Awwww mannnnnnnnnnn. This SUCKS : (

rulo_rezn0r
rulo_rezn0r

this sucks so...the biggest gaming event to go is TGS? LA is way nearer for me

deejay246
deejay246

nice one sony you killed E3 with your overhyping and lies

Swampthing
Swampthing

Entertainment Software Association Announces Evolution of E3Expo for 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stacey Wade 202-223-2400 or swade@theesa.com Washington, DC (July 31, 2006) – To better address the needs of today’s global computer and video game industry, the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) is evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today. “The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season,” said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. “Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences.” The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. As currently envisioned, it will still take place in Los Angeles, described by ESA as a “great and supportive partner helping to build E3.” It will focus on press events and small meetings with media, retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, E3Expo 2007 will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years. “E3Expo 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,” said Lowenstein. Additionally, the evolution of the video game industry into a vibrant and expanding global market has led to the creation of major events in different regions, such as the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others around the world. As a result, Lowenstein said, “It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega-show’. 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.” Additional details about the new E3Expo event will be forthcoming in the next few months. The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2005, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com. # # #

99X
99X

I don't understand the idea of downsizing it. First of all, besides the actual price for the floor space and related expenses, it's up to the company to decide how much to bring/show ect. If Microsoft wants a two story mega booth with 20 employees, that's their decision. Its up to the company to decide how much of their budget can be spent on E3. I can understand limiting the attendance from thousands to hundreds However, which might make for more playtime and a more intimate setting with developers, which couldn't be a bad thing. We'll have to wait and see the reactions.

princeofgames90
princeofgames90

I dont know will the E3 ever come back i shure will miss the good old days

ShadoweaverCode
ShadoweaverCode

I'll miss the booth babes the most. :) In all seriousness, they are downsizing e3 because of financial reasons?? I know those tickets aren't cheap, I went to the e3 page and it was like $1,500 for a 5 day access with access to all the lectures/game rooms. They should have done the opposite and made it even BIGGER with access for the general public, that would have made them mad $$$.

StrikerGold
StrikerGold

Not at all surprised. It became such a behemoth that it crushed itself under its own weight of excess and meaningless PR/executive doubletalk (I mean... did you SEE the Sony show?). I've followed E3 for a while now and each year the harder it tried to impress, the less impressed I was. Show me the games, show me the previews. That's all I care about i na show like that.

MaRiOmAn222
MaRiOmAn222

I'll miss the hot-dogs wrapped in bacon that were sold outside of the LACC... *sniffle*

kpyrz
kpyrz

woohoo! Looks like I attended an historic event this last E3 then!

soulmanpt
soulmanpt

They're shooting themselves in the foot. PS3 needs all the media coverage it can get since people are so skeptcal due to its high cost. Wii needs the coverage for the consumers to get over that name, and to see why it would make good sense for gamers on a budget, and 360 needs it to drive home the fact that it already has a good game library and has killer apps in the pipe. This will only benefit the studio giants like EA, and will strain independant development houses even more.

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

E3 killed my brother-naow he has finally been avenged! Mwuhahahahah!!! Schadenfreuder E3! That's what you get! now i can go back to my humble life as a rice farmer.

DarkJedi123
DarkJedi123

esa@theesa.com THIS is the esa email address i called them tards

slickr
slickr

LOL, who will watch in then, the reason beacose it's so widly known and watched and visited is beacose of the LARGE aduiences, TONS of games, announcments of new game titles and "THE HYPE" it develops. If they shrink it it will not be interesting for anyone!

danielgriswold
danielgriswold

I only wanted to do three physical journeys in my life: Bushnell IL for Cornerstone Music Festival, Jerusalem the Holy City, and LA for E3...I was going to try and go next year! NOOOOO! Please, I pray that this death will spawn something new...or that this death won't occur at all.

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

I think this is a shame. E3 is just such an exciting event for the industry. Many gamers anticipate the announcements of E3 months in advance and it is a sign of how strong the gaming industry is. My big problem with it is that it is media only. I think that rather than E3 being downsized it should be expanded even larger to have a section just for fans to try out new games and to socialize with fellow gamers. I don't think it's purpose should be only as a trade show for insiders and nothing more. This is just a sign of how cheap companies are becomming. They want to cut costs everywhere, even in game development and rehash sequels millions of times over. This is said news indeed.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

As long as the demos still get released via XBL and PNP and VC on all three systems, then I don't see too big a problem. I will miss the hype that comes with E3. Hopefully we will still see the Press Conferences here on Gamespot. The media will actually have the opportunity to better evaluate and present the games to the gaming public without the hassle of extremely long lines and short play sessions. This can be a benefit. I'm upset I've never gone to E3 and now won't get a chance to. there is no stopping it. If it's too much to pay all that extra money for the developers, then it is likely for the better to keep game prices lower.

ghsacidman
ghsacidman

This is BS. Can't have GS Live coverage for a small POS show!

Digital-Devil
Digital-Devil

Hopefully we will get the update soon....very soon

THE_DZA
THE_DZA

Seems like a good idea to me. Less time working on e3 means more true development time for games, as well as less cost that can be passed on to the consumer. Also we wont have to wait for important information as much, it can be released all year long.

sevlom
sevlom

It's for the best I think. In some ways E3 is good, I'll admit, to give insider info, but that's all it should be for. It was a great when they've had the bigger shows, but not necessary. All the announcements that need to be made will still be made, and without all the crowds. One of the things with E3 is that it creates too much hype, and a lot of that is from the crowds going in then reporting on it, maybe giving away too much info, making things sound so great, when they may not be. The official announcments are fine, but all the other hype is not needed. To be honost I don't think too much info should get out until something is close to being ready, so there are no dissappointments, such as delays or cancellations.

KahnArtizt
KahnArtizt

that sucks. even tho ill never be able to go to E3 i actually feel bad for the ones that do. hope it doesnt happen.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Wow......I never saw this coming. Too bad.:(

msim
msim

i think it sucks but can understand why theyre doing it.with all the electronic crap,music,lights,demos just think of the electric bill...

willripyouanew1
willripyouanew1

That's bull***t The LA Convention Center is and has been the perfect spot for E3.Cheap Bastards!!

sjansen100
sjansen100

You guys make it sound like it's going to be reduced to 1 EA booth and 12 reporters at the Motel 6....

sootybuttercup2
sootybuttercup2

Apparently EA is spearheading the assault of E3 cost.

FrankieLA
FrankieLA

E3 was created to solidifying business deals with Wal-Mar/Target/EB, create buzz via marketing, and making new relationships within the gaming industry. Opening E3 to the public would turn the convention center into a cattle ranch. There are other venues to play demos and hot games like the Digital Life convention this year in New York which is catered specifcally for gamers. And I wouldn't be too worried about local business in the area. The Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Avengers, mega-million concerts, traveling shows, the other trillion expos that go to the LA convention center will help them recover. :) javascript:submitPost(); Submit E3 is created to make money, not spending it and how much the ESA has been charging for floor space is getting rediculous. But don't get more wrong, I still love E3, I just hate how it's turned into such a carnival. A similiar situation went down a decade ago when the CES was the center for gaming and the gaming industry found a new venue to show its wares, so I am confident it will be re-born again if this E3 rumor is true.

cheesytaco69
cheesytaco69

I went to it in 2000 and it was a blast. Then they closed their doors to the public and now they are making it all in meetings? Poo on you ESA! I'm happy the way it is. And happier the way it was.

DemonJD138
DemonJD138

Hey AssassinX01, it was always an industry only event. Haven't you read about all the people who try to sneak in? Now it'll just be a smaller industry only event, but whatever, I was never going anyways, and as long as the news rolls in just as steadily, I'm fine.

PatchMaster
PatchMaster

Eh, as long as the cameras get it in I'm good. I'll just watch online like I did this year. Maybe a smaller E3 will awaken a yearly SpaceWorld. Hmmm...

barrett_rob
barrett_rob

Will gamespot still get their cameras in?

assassinX01
assassinX01

lame. Electronic ENTERTAINMENT Expo. It's hard to call it entertainment if it's only industry people there.

Ripley
Ripley

Just run it like ComicCon in San Diego. Big venue, open to public, 4 days, $65/day...viola! Massive money maker.

ANTEspen
ANTEspen

Most of the comments on this story serve as a perfect example of why they are downsizing the show in the first place.