E3 on the move?

Source: A report on British trade site MCV. The official story: "We're looking at the show and will make announcements at an appropriate time."--An Entertainment Software Association representative. What we heard: When the ESA announced last year that it was revamping its flagship Electronic...

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Source: A report on British trade site MCV.

The official story: "We're looking at the show and will make announcements at an appropriate time."--An Entertainment Software Association representative.

What we heard: When the ESA announced last year that it was revamping its flagship Electronic Entertainment Expo, a parade of rumors and speculation floated through the industry as to why the changes were made, what the new show would look like, and even whether or not there would be an E3 of any sort in 2008.

With last week's E3 Business and Media Summit in the books, it seems time for that cycle to start again in regards to next year's show. Trade site MCV kicked it off today with a report that the show will once again undergo significant changes. Specifically, the story said the ESA would move the show out of the Los Angeles area entirely (last week's show was held in nearby Santa Monica), hold the show on new dates, revise its strategy once again, and re-examine the way it invites people to attend.

While the site didn't give any kind of source for its news, it did say it "could exclusively reveal" that the show will move, and that it was only ever held in Santa Monica to fulfill a contractual obligation requiring an event in the LA area. The article says New York and Las Vegas have been suggested as possible new homes for the show. It doesn't explain who suggested the former city, and the only other reference in the story to the latter locale is Microsoft exec Jeff Bell saying he isn't necessarily "flying the flag" for Vegas, but merely pointing out LA isn't a convention town.

The news that the ESA is considering moving the show isn't especially surprising. Earlier this week, the group sent out surveys to E3 attendees asking what they thought of the event. One question asked respondents where they would like next year's show to be held. The options included Los Angeles and Santa Monica, as well as Laguna Beach, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Furthermore, the survey asked if respondents preferred to have the event in a multiple hotel setting like last week's show, or a single, larger facility, like the Los Angeles Convention Center shows of years past. Other questions inquired about the usefulness of the Barker Hangar and the third-party publisher press conferences, as well as which month (from May to August) would be preferred for the trade show.

However, while the ESA is certainly considering its options, a final decision has likely not been made. For one thing, respondents are asked to complete the survey before Monday, July 23. Assuming the ESA went to the trouble of conducting a survey because the responses it gets will impact its future decisions in some way, the group probably hasn't committed to changing the location of E3 once more. Combine that with the vague sourcing on the original article, and it's not looking like a lock just yet.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus that the ESA is thinking about it. Bogus that it's a done deal.

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