E3 to draw 41,000+

Entertainment Software Association says upcoming trade show will top out at 45,000 attendees; online registration closing June 9.

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The Entertainment Software Association has been filling up its exhibitor list for this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo at a brisk rate, having announced in February that more than 120 companies were on board. With that number having now ballooned to in excess of 290, the industry trade body said today that it expects 41,000 to 45,000 developers, analysts, journalists, and retailers to be on hand at the event.

This building will soon be swarmed by gamers.
This building will soon be swarmed by gamers.

Given that kind of draw, the ESA also said today that it would be closing online registration for E3 2010 on Wednesday, June 9, at 11 p.m. Pacific time. The trade organization noted that industry persons eligible to attend the event can still register to receive attendance badges on site. The ESA also said that the move is designed to "avoid congestion" at the event.

The ESA's attendance approximation falls in line with the turnout at last year's industry gala. Having downsized the event to only about 5,000 attendees in 2007 and 2008, the ESA opened the floodgates in 2009, when an estimated 41,000 industry attendees set up shop in the Los Angeles Convention Center in LA. While substantial, that figure was still down from the some 60,000 attendees that showed up to the 2006 show, when invite restrictions were more lax.

While E3 2010 will officially commence on the morning of June 14 with Microsoft's Xbox 360 media briefing, the publisher will host a Project Natal premiere event on Sunday night. Publishers and developers will begin showing their wares on June 15, and the show is expected to close out on June 17.

For the latest updates from this year's E3, keep an eye on GameSpot's coverage.

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