Reports this week which claimed that E3 2009 would be at least partially open to the public were just wrong, it would now appear.
Yesterday game publishers trade group the ESA, which owns E3, issued a press release detailing the new format. And you're probably not invited. Here's what we know:
- Dates: June 2-4, 2009
- Location: L.A. Convention Center
- Invited: "all qualified computer and video game industry audiences, including international and U.S.-based
When we asked ESA P.R. guy Dan Hewitt to clarify whether the public would be eligible to attend, he told us:
There will be opportunities to view the E3 Expo and learn about what's going on at the show, but it won't be open to the general public.
The show will be capped at 40,000 attendees, well up from the ghost town feel of this year's 5,000 attendee flop, but just a bit more than half of E3's peak years of 2004-2006.
ESA boss Michael Gallagher was interviewed on the new E3 format by Destructoid. Among his comments:
We have a much, much broader audience than the targeted show that we ran the last two years, which was very focused on press-only and really U.S. press. This is meant to target international press, mass media, as well as just gamer press. It's meant to look at retailers in particular.
We moved it earlier in the year to make it more relevant to the retail environment. We're looking [for] developers, business partners, hardware and accessory manufacturers. It's a much broader audience, which is much more traditional, or shares more in common with the older versions of E3.