Report: ESA Committed to Holding E3 in 2009

The Entertainment Software Association, which operates E3, has told GameSpot that despite rampant criticism of this year’s expo the game publishers trade association is already gearing up for the 2009 show.

No additional details were provided. GameSpot attributes this quote to to an unnamed ESA rep:

As we do every year, we’re beginning the process of surveying exhibitors and attendees to determine potential changes to the Summit. Once this is completed and shared with the ESA’s Board of Directors, we will make an announcement about the specifics of the 2009 E3 Media & Business Summit, which will occur.

GP: While it is the nature of organizations to put on a brave face, there are a couple of facts that need to be weighed against the ESA rep’s comments.

The first is that since E3 ’08 wrapped up less than a week ago it seems a bit early to commit to a 2009 show. One might expect that exhibitor debriefs as well as a thorough E3 post-mortem need to take place in order to sort out what went wrong and determine whether it is fixable. That’s especially true given the fairly widespread negative reaction to this year’s expo, including this rather definitive comment attributed by the San Francisco Chronicle to EA CEO John Riccitiello:

I hate E3 like this. Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we’ll have to have our own private events.

Moreover, the ESA rep’s comment seems to imply that the ESA will tell the board of directors (which is comprised of top execs from ESA member game publishers) what’s happening with E3, but we’d expect it will be the other way ’round. And since EA happens to be chairing the ESA board this year, one has to wonder. 

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