Electronic Entertainment Expo
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|Electronic Entertainment Expo|
|Venue||Los Angeles Convention Center|
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Inaugurated||May 11, 1995|
|Most recent||June 2016|
|Organized by||Entertainment Software Association|
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, is an annual trade fair for the video game industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is used by many video game publishers and accessory manufacturers to introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise.
E3 used to be an industry-only event; individuals who wished to attend were required by the ESA to verify a professional connection to the video-game industry.
E3 is usually held in late May or early June at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles; the most recent event was held from June 14–16, 2016. The show in 2017 will be held from June 13–15, 2017.
Before E3, game publishers went to other trade shows to display new or upcoming products; these include the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the European Computer Trade Show. As the game industry grew rapidly during the early 1990s, industry professionals felt that it had outgrown the older trade shows. According to Tom Kalinske, CEO of Sega America, "The CES organizers used to put the video games industry way, way in the back. In 1991 they put us in a tent, and you had to walk past all the porn vendors to find us. That particular year it was pouring rain, and the rain leaked right over our new Genesis system. I was just furious with the way CES treated the video games industry, and I felt we were a more important industry than they were giving us credit for." Sega did not return to the CES the following year, and with the founding of the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) in 1994 most other game companies followed suit.
The first E3 was conceived by IDG's Infotainment World and co-founded by the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the ESA). It coincided with a new generation of consoles, the release of the Sega Saturn, and announcements of the upcoming PlayStation, Virtual Boy and Neo-Geo CD. Although specifications for the Nintendo Ultra 64 (later renamed Nintendo 64) were released, no hardware was displayed. According to Eliot Minsker, chairman and CEO of Knowledge Industry Publications (which produced and promoted the show with Infotainment World), "Retailers have pointed to the need for an interpretive event that will help them make smarter buying decisions by interacting with a wide range of publishers, vendors, industry influentials, and opinion leaders in a focused show setting."
Although the IDSA asked the CES for private meeting space for game developers, it was told that access could not be limited. Patrick Ferrell, CEO of IDG's Infotainment World, sent his vice president of marketing to the meeting; when Ferrell received the CES' reply, Infotainment World management announced E3. Needing full industry support, Ferrell negotiated an agreement between IDG and the IDSA and they co-produced the show for several years.
The first event was held from May 11–13, 1995 in Los Angeles. Keynote speakers included Sega of America president and CEO Thomas Kalinske, Sony Electronic Publishing president Olaf Olafsson, and Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln. It was one of the largest trade-show debuts in history, with 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) of exhibit space and over 48,900 attendees.
In its current form, the Expo primarily features presentations from major hardware and software publishers, traditionally including Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft, and others. These presentations, often lasting one hour or more, are presented in the Convention Center's main auditorium, or in other large nearby venues, and allow the companies to present their upcoming products for the current year. This often includes reveals of new hardware and software products.
Following these presentations, the show's exhibition halls open, allowing attendees to speak to various company representations to get more information on upcoming titles and products. Here, many smaller developers and publishers will have booths for their products, including demonstration stations for the attendees to try out games.
E3 has traditionally been a closed event expect to members of the video game industry and the media. Since the restructuring of the show following E3 2008, there has been a general interest from exhibitors to opening the show to members of the public, as they feel word-of-mouth experiences from gamers is as valuable as media coverage. In 2015, ESA distributed 5,000 tickets to the exhibitors to give to their fans, representing the first time members of the general public could attend the show. E3 2016 featured a separate but free "E3 Live" event at the nearby L.A. Live space that was to help provide a small-scale version of the E3 experience. While it drew about 20,000 people, it was found to be underwhelming. With E3 2017, the ESA announced that it will release 15,000 tickets for purchase by members of the public, a move generally praised across many publishers and analysts.
Some companies have opted to not present at E3 but schedule similar events at the same time frame. Nintendo has forgone a formal press conference and instead scheduled streaming Nintendo Live and Treehouse shows to announce its products during the E3 period. Due to the lack of public access, Electronic Arts has pulled out of exhibiting at E3 but presents its own EA Live show before or during the E3 event.
In addition to the event, E3 has supported (or is associated with) several websites. One was E365, introduced in 2006, an online community which attendees used to network and schedule meetings.
In 1996, IDG and the IDSA tried 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. Although Sony Computer Entertainment was the show's original sponsor, the company withdrew its support in favor of its PlayStation Expo. Sega pulled out at the last minute, leaving Nintendo the only big-three company to appear. Held November 1–4, 1996, the presence of several other gaming expos and lack of support from Japanese game manufacturers led to turnout reported as "poor" and rumored E3 events in Singapore and Canada did not take place.
- List of gaming conventions
- Tokyo Game Show
- Consumer Electronics Show
- Game Developers Conference
- Sarkar, Samit (June 16, 2016). "E3 2016 attendance down slightly, E3 2017 dated". Polygon. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
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- Kohler, Chris (March 8, 2016). "It's the End of E3 As We Know It". Wired. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
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- Brightman, James (June 17, 2016). "E3 Live completely disappoints fans". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Crecente, Brian (February 8, 2017). "E3 2017 will open up 15,000 tickets for purchase by the public". Polygon. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Carter, Chris (February 8, 2017). "E3 is open to the public this year, 15,000 tickets go on sale Monday". Destructoid. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Staff (February 9, 2017). ""This move is long overdue" - Industry responds to E3 going public". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
- "E365". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13.
- "任天堂もSEGAもSONYもいないE3/Tokyo'96". PC Watch. 1996-11-01. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- Callaham, John (2007-06-19). "Looking back at E3". FiringSquad. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
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