Electronic Entertainment Expo
||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (May 2012)|
|Electronic Entertainment Expo|
The Los Angeles Convention Center during E3 2012
|Venue||Los Angeles Convention Center|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Organizer||Entertainment Software Association|
Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade fair for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is used by many video game publishers and accessory manufacturers to show off their upcoming games and game-related merchandise.
Unlike Gamescom, Penny Arcade Expo (a.k.a. PAX) and other video game trade fairs that are open to the public, E3 is an exclusive, industry-only event. Persons who apply to attend are required by the event's governing body (Entertainment Software Association) to verify that they have some professional connection to the electronic entertainment industry.
E3 is commonly held in late May or early June of each year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles, and was held there from June 7 to June 9 in 2011. In 2007, the convention was exceptionally held from July 11 to July 13 in Santa Monica, California.
The first E3 was conceived by IDG's Infotainment World and co-founded by the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association). It coincided with the start of a new generation of consoles, with the release of the Sega Saturn, and the announcements of upcoming releases of the PlayStation, Virtual Boy and Neo-Geo CD. Specifications for the Nintendo Ultra 64 (later renamed Nintendo 64) were released, but there was no hardware shown.
IDSA originally asked CES for a private meeting space for game developers, but was told that they could not limit access to only invited registrants. Patrick Ferrell, CEO of IDG's Infotainment World, had sent his VP Marketing to the meeting, and hearing the result, the management team at Infotainment World immediately announced E3. Needing to ensure the full backing of the industry, Ferrell then negotiated a partnership between IDG and the IDSA, who then co-produced the show for a number of years
The event ran from May 11 through May 13, 1996 in Los Angeles, California. Keynote speakers included Sega of America, Inc. president and CEO Thomas Kalinske; Sony Electronic Publishing Company president Olaf Olafsson; and Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln. The first show was one of the largest trade show launches in history, with over 1.2 million feet of show space and over 80,000 attendees.
Main exhibition halls 
The main halls contain the large majority of booth space and exhibitions. The booths in these halls are generally designed to attract passersby with attention-grabbing designs, and often contain kiosks with playable demos, "booth babes", celebrities, and swag. In the LACC, the South Hall and West Hall are used for major exhibitions. In 2012, traffic was rebalanced between the two halls by requiring the first-party console manufacturers to exhibit in the West Hall, while major third-party game publishers were required to exhibit in the South Hall. Of note, this required Microsoft to move from its longstanding central location in the South Hall to a corner location in the West Hall, while Capcom was forced to move from its front location in the West Hall to a rear location in the South Hall.
Additionally, located adjacent to the West Hall is the Petree Hall, a smaller exhibition area that historically hosted only a single large booth. More recently, after its longtime resident Atari (Infogrames) effectively shut down its retail operations and a subsequent closure of Midway Games, the Petree Hall has only been used for auxiliary purposes.
Meeting rooms 
Aside from the exhibition booths, E3 also hosts meeting rooms and other office-like spaces. In comparison to the main booths, the meeting areas are small, quiet, and austere, and might only be used for conducting official business or press. These meeting areas are generally reserved for appointments and closed-door exhibits. Walk-in visits are typically discouraged or not allowed. In the LACC, the meeting rooms are concentrated in the Kentia Hall and Concourse Hall, but side rooms can also be found in hallways throughout the complex. Smaller exhibitors (including, for example, licensing companies with no capacity for actual game production) will often have a meeting room and no exhibition booth at all, while others may have both a small exhibition booth and a meeting area. Large exhibitors typically build meeting rooms into their main booths, but usually opt to have an additional meeting room away from the noisy exhibition hall.
Online scheduling system 
In addition to the physical event, E3 supports or is otherwise associated with a number of online sites. One site introduced in 2006 was E365, an online community which attendees use to pre-network and schedule meetings with one another.
Media coverage 
Many websites and blogs have a history of providing extensive coverage of E3 with live webcasts, game previews, game media and blog entries covering popular press events. Some of the more popular sites include (but are not limited to) IGN, GameSpot, Kotaku, 1UP.com, GamesRadar, Machinima, GameTrailers, and G4.
On site, the event is covered by professional journalists from around the world. Proof of credentials are verified before the event or on-site. Originally E3 was almost entirely dominated by print games journalists, the event eventually came to include general and specialist TV crews, newspaper journalists, website journalists. Many of these attendees came with consumer-level digital video and photograph cameras. Since E3 was closed to the general public, guest invitations have been widely extended to game-specific fansites, blogs, wikis, forum members and other enthusiasts who likely would have attended in the past. In this way, social media has been used to maintain a connection between E3 and the fan community.
On behalf of the organizers, Future Publishing now publishes the free official daily magazine, named in 2006 as The 2006 Official Show Daily. Previously published by Ziff Davis under "SHOWDAILY", the magazine provides news, and maps of the show floor.
Traditionally, many of the media outlets give out Best of E3 awards in various categories. Common categories include Best of Show, Best Trailer, Best Original Game, Best PS3 Game, Best Xbox 360 Game, Best Pc Game, Best Action Game, Best Hardware, etc. Of the awards, the most prestigious is the Best of Show of the Game Critics Awards.
E3/Tokyo '96 
In 1996, IDG and the IDSA trialed a Japanese version of E3, in preparation for a worldwide series of events, at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo (as E3/Tokyo '96) in association with TV Asahi. The show was originally going to be sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment but their support was pulled in favor of their own PlayStation Expo. Sega also pulled out of attending at the last minute, leaving Nintendo as the only one of the 'big three' to appear. Running between the 1st of November and 4 November 1996, the combination of several other gaming expos and the lack of support from Japanese game manufacturers meant the turnout was reported as 'poor', and as such no further E3/Tokyo events have taken place. Rumored E3 events that were to occur in Singapore and Canada were also canceled.
See also 
- European Computer Trade Show – held in London, United Kingdom
- Tokyo Game Show – Game expo held in Tokyo, Japan (or Chiba Prefecture).
- Nintendo World – Nintendo exclusive game expo
- Consumer Electronics Show
- Game Developers Conference
- Games Convention – held in Leipzig, Germany
- Gamescom – held in Cologne, Germany
- Penny Arcade Expo
- Paris Games Week
- Brazil Game Show – held in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- G-Star – held in Busan, South Korea
- Callaham, John (2007-06-19). "Looking back at E3". FiringSquad. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
- Official E3 site
- E3 Expo 2012 coverage at Aussie-Gamer.com
- Game Critics Awards – Best of E3
- N-Sider.com's History of E3
- E3 Summary 1996–2004
- Game Zero magazine's E3 1996 Coverage and Daily Summaries
- E3 2006 Video Coverage
- E3 2009 coverage: 1UP, E3coverage.com, G4, Gamespot, IGN, Joystiq[dead link], UGO E3.net
- Photography of Chris Smart – Three Days in LA – E3 2004
- Exhibitor List of E3 2010