E3 2009: Bigger, Not Public

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.

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  1. 0
    finaleve says:

    I well theres always next year.  Eventually ESA will get their heads out of their behinds and finally hear what their wallets are saying.

    And to be honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of the industry leaves the ESA and start their own E3.

  2. 0
    Lex-Man says:

    Why can’t E3 be a week long event, which is closed to the public from monday to friday and then opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

    This would mean that the gaming companyies could talk to the press do any buisessness stuff they needed to in the week and when the weekend came go into full overblown hype mode and hand out lots of cheap plastic things.

  3. 0
    benbur says:

    ESA seems to be nothing but a bunch of idiots.

    What do they expect to accomplish by letting industry employees and media be the only ones in?

    I hear about good upcoming games from my friends who make it to various expos and I tell my friends about the games I see at E For All and PAX. Word of mouth is very powerful.

  4. 0
    silversnowfox says:

    New headline from the ESA, "And in a related story, I like pie!"  Yep, we have a definite case of bloated ego related moron syndrome here.

    "We do not hear debates about teaching whether the holocausts happened or did not in history classes, so why should we even entertain the notion for Intelligent Design?"

  5. 0
    smblion says:

     Wow, talk about a failboat. They’re just hammering more nails into the coffin, meanwhile PAX and Blizzcon and similar, run by people with a clue, will continue to grow and be successful.

    The game industry exists because of consumers. Not letting consumers into gaming trade shows is absolutely retarded, and recent history has shown us this is true.

  6. 0
    Father Time says:

    "Cartman land is going to be awesome, but you can’t come."


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  7. 0
    Krono says:

    So, in other words, after more than two years, millions of dollars wasted, and tons of bad press, they’ve finally started to realize that "scaling back" E3 to almost nothing was a bad idea?


  8. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    They really should stop beating this dead horse with a stick. Not only is it starting to make a distressing smell, it’s beginning to leak unsavoury fluids too.



    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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