Entertainment Software Association tax documents reveal that the return of the Electronic Entertainment Expo to Los Angeles from Santa Monica managed to net the group $12 million. From 2006 to 2009, the Entertainment Software Association changed the format of its annual trade show several times before settling on its current format.
In 2007 the group attempted to downsize the show and moved it from the Los Angeles Convention Center to nearby Santa Monica. While it made the show smaller, it also raised membership due and show fees, which agitated a number of publishers. In 2008, the ESA returned the show to the LA Convention Center, but kept it small. This resulted in reduced revenues for the show that year – from $3.49 million in 2006 to $3.24 million in 2007. Membership fees that year were not enough to offset that shortfall; ESA dues raised $15.22 million in 2007, down from a high of $17.41 million the year prior.
According to the ESA’s latest Form 990 filing with the IRS, the return to a large-scale show in 2009 spiked revenues. For the year ending March 31, 2010, E3 revenues more than tripled to $11.76 million. Meanwhile, income from member dues continued to decrease, with the ESA reporting $12.26 million in revenue from member companies, down 20 percent year-over-year. The ESA reported a total of $31.19 million in revenue for the year, up 21 percent from the previous year’s $25.78 million. The rest of the group’s income came from Entertainment Software Rating Board rating fees ($5.77 million).