E3 Returns to Los Angeles in 2008

e3-vertical1.jpgEveryone agrees that this year’s E3 in Santa Monica didn’t quite work out.

So the Entertainment Software Association is moving the show back to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The announcement comes this morning by way of an ESA press release. E3 ’08 will run from July 15-17.

Despite the return to the LACC, the conspicuous consumption flavor of E3 circa 1998-2006 will likely remain a thing of the past. From the press release:

The event will continue to focus on the business of the computer and video game industry, with an emphasis on press events and small meetings with media, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will not feature the large trade show environment of
previous years.

ESA head honcho Mike Gallagher commented:

We look forward to welcoming the media and top industry executives to a centralized, business focused and personalized experience. Our program of high-level meetings, networking and personal dialogue, and industry-shaping panel discussions will capture the explosive growth we have seen in 2007 and lay the foundation for the 2008 video game marketplace.


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  1. 0
    chadachada(123) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why not do both? Have the top guys in the back rooms getting the real info, while us consumers can still get a taste for ourselves, and a show, in the main area?

    Personally, I really wanted to see E3 for myself someday…

  2. 0
    Iniquus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m torn. I can equal out the pros and cons of each format in my own head (although I might not be able to convey that). The old E3 created a spectacle. In one way, it was good, because it got attention for games and gamers alike. Information got out there. And glorifying games kind of pushes quality. I mean, honestly, there’s only so much a flashy booth can do to hype a bad game. But at the same time, the hype was a little overboard. And I think those opposing aspects, as an example, balance out. I say, let the proof come from the quality of the games. Which is what would happen anyway (I like stating the obvious). And if the demand comes loud enough, we’ll get something in tandem with E3 that is more consumer-based and like the old E3.

    I will admit though, I always looked forward to the EGM and other media coverage every year.

    -Mike Schwinger

  3. 0
    Tal Blevins says:

    Sure Gray, it wasn’t perfect, but by that standard E3 never “quite worked out” :0)

    I’ve been going to E3 since 1995 (and CES in Chicago before that, which was the genesis of E3), and I have to say E3 2007 was by far the most focused in terms of product, most pleasant in terms of general attitude of the attendees, and least stressful E3 I’ve ever attended. Even with the SNAFUs, it was actually better last year than any year it was held at the LACC (in my opinion, of course) and that’s considering that the week before, I was absolutely dreading going to the “new” show for fear of the new format.

    Of course, the big losers last year were the smaller companies, since they didn’t really have much of a presence at the Santa Monica show. However, by the sound of it, the ESA wants to keep the smaller focus, so they may not be represented at the 2008 show, either.

    We’ll just have to see how it is this year, but I (along with several other people I’ve talked to) will miss what they were trying to do in Santa Monica. Just don’t move it back to Atlanta, or to Las Vegas for that matter! After spending two hours in cab lines during CES, I never want to go to another convention in Vegas. *shudder*

  4. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Tal Blevins

    Even your description of it amounts to “didn’t quite work out”. The lack of centralization was problematic, communication was poor, and probably a few other things. That isn’t exactly smooth sailing. Attempting to change venue at the same time they were trying to scale back clearly threw a wrench in the works. So now they’re trying to fix that by moving back to the familiar local while they get the kinks ironed out of the scale back. Then they can figure out if a location change is actually warranted.


    Yeah, some of that too. There’s clearly an element that enjoys the event having a festive atmosphere. Makes removing the festive atmosphere entirely difficult to do, especially in a single sweep.

  5. 0
    Tal Blevins says:

    “Everyone agrees that this year’s E3 in Santa Monica didn’t quite work out.”

    Don’t be fooled. Most people I talked to actually liked E3 last year. It wasn’t the hotel setup itself that was a problem (all of the hotels were within one block of one another except for the Fairmont, which was kind of a hassle). The big problem was Barker Hangar, which was in the middle of nowhere and pretty much useless. I don’t know why they didn’t use the Santa Monica events center, where Nintendo held their press conference. It’s right across the street from the main hotels, so that would have been much more convenient.

    The press and publishers seemed to be generally in much better spirits, and much less frazzled than past E3s. Companies showed fewer — but more prominent — titles, demo reps weren’t hoarse from shouting over blaring techno music for eight hours, we were able to get information up faster than ever because our appointment schedules weren’t as hectic, and the general mood from everyone felt much more focused and pleasant.

    One of the biggest problems last year was that the ESA did a very poor job of organizing the invite lists (as we heard from several publishers who all said communication was horrible), so hopefully they’ll get that settled this year.

    I’m personally not excited about E3 being back at the LA Convention Center because downtown Los Angeles is boring, lacks basic services such as late night food, and is, quite frankly, scary. Santa Monica was much better IMO, so I’m kinda sad to see it go back to the LACC so soon.

    I was one of the people surveyed post-E3, and my sentiments then mimic what I’m saying now.

  6. 0
    Mister Angry ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regardless of what everyone else is saying…

    I was so depressed to hear that E3 died down, before I had a chance to go. I had future plans of going there with friends…

  7. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    More like they killed E3, then realized they killed the good aspects of it along with the bad. Now they’re going “Oh crap, that didn’t work.” and trying to bring back the good aspects.

  8. 0
    Tom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m all for E3 being an industry only event. Customers have no place there and customer orientated marketing has no place there. I don’t want millions of dollars of development money thrown into fancy booths that only exist for a few days and booth babes – I want that money used to make better games. How can any fellow gamer say that they would rather see pictures of fancy booths – most of you aren’t going to be actually be there to see them in person – then have higher-quality games?

    I also don’t want the industry handling a consumer show. Let us handle it and let us invite who we want and let us set the rules. PAX is doing a pretty damned good job of it.

  9. 0
    Rellik San says:

    Personally, I think something more akin to the likes of the Cannes Film Festival would be a good consumer show to take on the road, keep E3 about the business aspect, the GDC for Dev’s obviously. By segregating these 3 aspects of the E3 of old, a much more comprehensive network of trade shows and PR machines would be formed.

  10. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    That’d be some of the reasons to scale back E3. Unfortunately, what they did was kill it entirely. Which left them lacking in other areas, such as centralization, and smaller publishers and such.

  11. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    I kinda liked the reports from last years E3. The reporter seemed a lot less stressed, and games, not babes, cars and absurdly decorated stands were what they were actually reporting on.

  12. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Why yes I did read the article.d. Personally, I’d call them deciding to move back to the LACC and re-centralize E3 to be them realizing that part of their grand plan to replace E3 (aka the splitting it up across several hotels and such) was a bad idea. That’s certainly a start on realizing they screwed up and should have done something different after deciding that a change was needed.

    @BaronJuJu and ~the1jeffy

    I’m not saying that they’re making it the way it was before. I’m not saying they’re trying to. I’m not saying they should. However the “press events and small meetings with media, development, and other key sectors” was there all along, they just blending into, then partially got lost in the general show and spectacle that E3 generated. The rest grew up over time. Unchecked it’ll end up that way again, as there’s some demand for that sort of spectacle from the industry and the press.

  13. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:


    No it wasn’t. It was E3 as it came to be known in the minds of gamers. E3 really had nothing to do with us.

    I fully support the idea of a consumer show, however, we already have a good many, and at least one will likely outstrip the old Con-like E3 in the near future – PAX. I definitely think the ECA should organize national meetings, at least.

  14. 0
    BaronJuJu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it would work, I mean lets look at the previous E3 shows, pack to the gills with fans. If it would be too costly to do it yearly, what about biennial events? They are a 9+ billion dollar industry thank to the consumers, why not reward them with a show every now and then? I remember folks would talk about the E3 months before it opened, excited about what they may or may not see.

  15. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:


    No, they aren’t. Did you read the article?


    No, it isn’t. Did you read the article?

    The ESA is moving locations for the next E3. That is all. The inside the ‘silicon beltway’ attitude is still there.

    The old E3 wasn’t good for the industry, no matter how you spin it. It was just good for gamers to pretend they were press or industry and get sneak peaks and get free stuff. The ESA knows their game, and the numbers just don’t add up to, “They will realize they were wrong and make it how it was.”

    With this new format, the onus is on the industry to provide innovation, and they don’t have the excuse of the expense and distraction of legions of gamer fanboy/girls running around muddying up the works. If they continue to rehash old IP and give us N-th iterations of MGS, Madden, Final Fantasy, GTA, etc. then we can vote with our dollars. Too bad that won’t happen. Gamers like to buy into hype (as evidenced by the popularity of a TRADESHOW by fans of the genre), as the continued successes of 20X6 versions of old games give game companies no reason to change.

    I love how gamers lament the loss of E3 when we lost nothing but a hype/PR machine, at the very least, from the perspective of getting game producers to make better games.

  16. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    A Consumer trade show would be great. That is what E3 turned into. It started out as an industry/media trade show and slowly they loosened their ticket requirements and more and more consumers showed up. Then the booths had to become more extravegent to get the attention of anyone and this alienated the people who the show was meant for.

    I am glad that they changed the format. It should never have gotten as bad as it was.

    But how exactly would one go about a consumer trade show? Would the video game companies go for it? After all, it would seem to drain from funds the ywould use for tv and internet advertising.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. 0
    BaronJuJu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Gray 17

    “I wonder how many years it’ll take before it ends up the way it was before again. “

    Hopefully never, I think the ECA should take this on as a project for the future….a tradeshow for the consumers! A perfect fit I would say.

  18. 0
    Paul Kerton ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When will the industry realise a small touring Expo without the booth babes, the massive stands, with just the games and the information would sell massively?

    Sure E3 was too big, but maybe thats because it was realistically the only one out there worth visiting? By touring a smaller version of it, they could have much better returns.

  19. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So, they’re starting to realize that killing E3 was a bad thing.

    I wonder how many years it’ll take before it ends up the way it was before again.

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