E3 Opens To The Public For The First Time Ever

15,000 tickets for E3 2017 will go on sale this coming Monday, February 13.

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For the first time ever, E3 is opening its doors to the public. The Entertainment Software Association, which organizes the event every year, announced today that an allotment of 15,000 tickets will be made available for anyone to buy this coming Monday, February 13.

Priced at $250 (or $150 as part of an early bird discount available on February 13), tickets provide access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other events from Tuesday through Thursday of E3 week. The ESA will partnerwith games media veteran Geoff Keighley to provide attendees with access to special benefits associated with Keighley's own E3 programming, such as developer interviews and more. Full details on this and other elements of E3's new public plans will be announced in the coming weeks.

For years now, there have been calls to open E3 to the public. The ESA conducted an experiment of sorts for this in 2016 with its E3 Live event, which was free and open to the public. It was located outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the site of E3, and attendees could go hands-on with upcoming games and take part in other events. There was "incredible attendee enthusiasm" for this event, the ESA's senior VP of communications, Rich Taylor, tells GameSpot. So the next step was to invite fans to actually walk the halls of E3 and get closer to the action.

"The feedback we heard was clear--they wanted to play the games inside the convention center. In addition, exhibitors inside the convention center wanted to have access to the fans. So this year we're bringing the two together," Taylor said.

"It's a changing industry, and E3 has always evolved to meet industry needs and anticipate where we’re heading together--as an event, as an industry, and as fans. The decision to open our doors to 15,000 fans was a strategic decision. It is thanks to our members and their vision and leadership that made this possible. We have a model that allows the business of the industry to continue for our business and media attendees and provides an opportunity for video games' biggest fans to experience the latest in innovative, immersive entertainment."

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Every year, it seems, the question comes up, "Is E3 still relevant?" A number of companies pulled out of E3 2016, including Activision and EA. Certainly, the industry is changing, and gaming shows like E3, Gamescom, and PAX--which has always been open to the public--remain popular. Taylor says E3 faces "the relevancy question" every year because it's the year's juggernaut when it comes to gaming shows.

"I think there are those who always enjoy questioning those at the top of the leaderboard," he says. "E3 has a reputation around the world as the place where video game hardware and software launches happen. Last year, E3 generated more than 65 billion media impressions around the globe. That doesn't happen accidentally, and it's a testament to E3's strength, its connection to the fans, and the event's position in the industry."

Taylor says the ESA is always listening to feedback and welcomes the ongoing discussion.

"I think asking, 'How can we improve?' 'Where are video games headed?' 'How do we connect with fans?' are all healthy questions, and that helps ensure E3 stays current and meets exhibitors' needs," he said.

In addition to the standard passes, business passes will be available. These provide access to a business lounge and preferred entry to the convention center, among other things. The ESA anticipates that this will be appealing to lawyers, analysts, executives, and advertisers.

"I think asking, 'How can we improve?' 'Where are video games headed?' 'How do we connect with fans?' are all healthy questions, and that helps ensure E3 stays current and meets exhibitors' needs" -- Taylor

E3 is a constantly evolving show. It isn't known yet if E3 2018 will be open to the public, but Taylor says you should think about this year's event as a "commitment of where [the ESA is] heading and [its] desire to respond to exhibitors and consumers."

E3 2017 takes place June 13-15. More than 200 exhibitors are lined up to attend the event--"leading companies from around the world," Taylor says. Bear in mind that the list of exhibitors on E3's website is not final, as discussions with publishers remain ongoing.

E3 is staying in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, through 2021.

Disclosure: GameSpot and the ESA are media partners for E3.

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Avatar image for Mafon2
Mafon2

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I didn't know that E3 is a closed show.

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skyx26

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This is REALLY stupid. Gamers were asking for this since 1996. Way WAY too late...

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Avatar image for suicidesn0wman
suicidesn0wman

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For those that want the correct information, the $149 price tag for E3 tickets is only the first 1000 tickets. Not for the entire day on the 13th.

If you're buying tickets and want to save $100, better be up early and get them as soon as you can (12pm east/9am west).

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Avatar image for doremonhg9x
doremonhg9x

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Edited By doremonhg9x

Anyone think the E3 logo looks so outdated? Like, god, do these guy ever hire someone who knows photoshop? That piece of shit looks so cheap, it's like it was made with Microsoft Word 2003 and Paint lol

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nintendians

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Edited By nintendians

huh... so they finally did it, i guess. was the early years just game developers and gaming sites only?

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Avatar image for lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

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Oh awesome...so we're looking at around $700 per ticket after the scalper's buy them all?

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Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

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Would love to go some day.. Hope public access continues .

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TJDMHEM

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@Shantmaster_K: me too.

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LouiXIII

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You have to be an idiot if you think E3 is going anywhere anytime soon. The ratings of last year's E3 was through the roof.

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musalala

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Desperate attempt to stay relevant...

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Avatar image for chisoxrule
chisoxrule

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This isn't entirely new. The CES in Chicago which was essentially E3 back in the early 90's was open to the public for a few years. I went to 2 of these and it was well worth it but the ticket prices weren't nearly what they're asking for now...

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e3man01

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I'm not against this decision, what has me very worried is if they're going to make the required adjustments to the lines. The lines have gotten worse the last several years and NOW you add the public. Shit's going to be a cluster but here's hoping someone has the foresight to make the adjustments.

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Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

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This is amazing news!

Finally. I was worried that the trend would continue so to say that this news is welcoming is quite the understatement.

One day I will have to venture down and see and take in all the sights for myself. Hopefully they don't reverse this decision by then, lol.

UPDATE: (They now have confirmation about your interest Ninja and are reversing the decision. Wait'a ruin it for everyone!)

-E3 IS BACK! NINJA APPROVED-

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Bickle2

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@videogameninja: don't waste your money, I'm serious. Go to SDCC, go to PAX. You'll have a much much better time. E3 is a tradeshow, it's a bunch of booths where you won't be allowed to play, or even watch some of the games that an appointment, and only high-end press can get an appointment. Unless you have a business reason to be there, don't go, I'm serious, I've been twice,

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SaturatedButter

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Edited By SaturatedButter

Giant Bomb checked out that E3 Live open to the public thing last year. It looked like almost nothing was going on at that thing. This just looks like a further move to desperately bring get more attention to an event that is getting more and more empty and meaningless every year.

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DrProphecy

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Edited By DrProphecy

I think I'll just keep watching it from home and save that money for games as I have been doing in the past.

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e3man01

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Edited By e3man01

Guys, until 2017, E3 has NEVER been open to the public, there have been easier ways to get in. Back in '14 MS started their Fanfest which gave fans passes to the show floor as well as their presser. Each year, the ESA has allowed them to let more fans in but it has never been open to the public. Unless by "open" you guys mean you pay the non free pass price, then yeah, I guess you could say it's been "open" to the public. You had to prove your industry credentials or know someone to get a free pass into the show. I've been going since 1995, hence my name.

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Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

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@e3man01: It's been pretty easy to get into. If you run a blog or a youtube channel you can get press credentials.

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suicidesn0wman

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@saturatedbutter: You need to have an established audience and been active for 6 months. Traffic for bloggers is at least 10k uniques so I'd assume they probably require the same amount of YT subs.

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e3man01

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@saturatedbutter: You're right, the reason I referenced that there were easier ways to get in, was to say it hasn't been overtly difficult. But never directly open to the public. After 2006, the 2009 show was when they really shuttered the retail free pass. Now, anyone can go.

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santinegrete

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Oh I could get these tickets to smash the teeth of Gibeau, Mattrick and Kotick when I see 'em. Do those suckers still go to E3 :D?

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Sepewrath

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Didn't they do an extra day that was open to the public a few years ago?

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whatsazerg

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I'd rather watch from home. Thx. :P

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benleslie5

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benleslie5  Moderator

I would love to go if I ever had the chance

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Nerdfromhell

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Edited By Nerdfromhell

I was lucky enough to go to E3 Live last year with a friend, and although there were things to improve it was definitely fun. Wishing the tickets weren't so expensive though, at that price I'll have to wait for 2018.

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Sepewrath

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@nerdfromhell: Yeah really short notice on this, I imagine most current or would be Youtubers chasing subscribers will be the primary purchasers of these tickets. Though if it works out and they do it next year, I will look into going.

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Avatar image for saturatedbutter
SaturatedButter

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@Sepewrath: As I understand it, tubers and bloggers have been able to get press passes.

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sicksm

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Edited By sicksm

I went a few years ago as a "fan" and felt like I had to fake talking about the tech aspects of the games at each booth when really I couldn't care less and just wanted to see the new games coming out. If they're letting in 15,000 "fans" like I was, the booths will have to change their approach to the people on the floor.

And for the industry people who are actually there to "work" I hope they have some kind of closed session for you. Us working stiffs depend on you reviews.

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Avatar image for Sepewrath
Sepewrath

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@sicksm: The reason they are probably doing this is to capitalize on the fact that people don't rely on these industry people anymore. These people on youtube get as much traffic as gaming websites now and the ESA is probably looking to capitalize on it after losing companies. The youtube crew will probably be sucking up these tickets trying to establish themselves as I'm sure they all don't get invited.

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hellcat29er

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haha that's madness the prices they're charging....I think I'll just watch the videos/live feeds that come out of E3 like I always have.

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Avatar image for deadlyfishes
deadlyfishes

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@hellcat29er:

Well, they have been "open" to the public before, you could buy an attendee pass (non-industry) for about $900.... Which is how they've been closed off in the pass.

$250 is actually what most relevant gaming conventions charge for non-industry attendees.

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Avatar image for ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

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This seems like an attempt to restore E3... It is no secret that their relevancy has been weakening for years now.

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dogpigfish

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E3 is still the most relevent game news event. Maybe people will now clap and cheer instead of smear and mock. This is a good idea.

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Tsuchikage

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It's always been my dream to go to E3, and this year I'll finally get my wish. :)

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e3man01

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@Tsuchikage: It's my Christmas morning, every year for a week. I love meeting those in the industry, even if it's a quick passing "hi".

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Bread_or_Decide

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250 a ticket? That's almost a nintendo switch. No thanks.

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Moonco

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Edited By Moonco  Moderator

About time! No more drilling a hole through the roof and sneaking in anymore

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Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

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Wait. I didn't know this. Wasn't it always for the public? So how did people go there

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FanboyMan

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@biggamerdude: Press passes were available, to get one you would have to be a game industry insider, work for a retailer like GameStop, Best Buy etc. or have a YouTube channel with a lot of subscribers.

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DarthRevenX

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@biggamerdude: it's always been for the games media and insiders...

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BigGamerDude

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@darthrevenx: oh ok

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Acillatem1993

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@biggamerdude: The public didnt. Members of the industry did tho.

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Lattata

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Sadly, Los Angles is too far away...

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JoshRMeyer

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Not bad. When I went in 2001 it was $400 a ticket, and you still needed to work for an electronics store.

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Goobshoeriot

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Aww yea! Always wanted to go to E3. This is awesome.

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