Electronic Entertainment Expo

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"E3" redirects here. For other uses, see E3 (disambiguation).
For this year's convention, see Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015.
Electronic Entertainment Expo
Electronic Entertainment Expo logo.jpg
Los Angeles Convention Center E3 2012.jpg
Status Active
Genre Video games
Venue Los Angeles Convention Center
Location(s) Los Angeles
Country United States
Inaugurated 1995; 20 years ago (1995)
Attendance 48,900 (2014)[1]
Organized by Entertainment Software Association

Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known 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 reveal and advertise their upcoming games and game-related merchandise. Unlike Gamescom and other video game trade fairs that are open to the public, E3 is an exclusive, industry-only event.[2] Persons who apply to attend are required by the ESA to verify that they have a professional connection to the video game industry.

E3 is commonly held in late May or early June of each year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles. In 2007, the convention was held from July 11 to July 13 in Santa Monica, California. E3 2013 was held on June 11–13, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and E3 2014 was held June 9–12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.[3] E3 2015 was held from June 16-18 also at the Los Angeles Convention Center.[4] The show in 2016 will be held from June 14–16, 2016.


Prior to E3, game publishers went to other trade shows to display new or upcoming products, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the European Computer Trade Show. As the games industry rapidly grew in the early 1990s, industry professionals began to sense that gaming had outgrown the old trade shows. Tom Kalinske, then-CEO of Sega America, recalled that "[t]he 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 next year, and with the founding of the Interactive Digital Software Association in 1994, most other game companies followed suit.[5]

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 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.[citation needed]

Eliot Minsker, chairman and CEO of Knowledge Industry Publications (which produced and promoted the show jointly with Infotainment World) stated, "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."[6]

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, sent his vice president of marketing to the meeting. After Ferrell was relayed the message, the management team at Infotainment World announced E3. Needing to ensure the full backing of the industry, Ferrell negotiated a partnership between IDG and the IDSA, who then co-produced the show for a number of years.[citation needed]

The event ran from May 11 through May 13, 1995 in Los Angeles, California.[7] Keynote speakers included Sega of America, Inc. President and CEO Thomas Kalinske; Sony Electronic Publishing president Olaf Olafsson; and Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln.[8] The first show was one of the largest trade show launches in history, with 700,000 square feet of exhibit space and over 48,900 attendees.[citation needed]


Main exhibition halls[edit]

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 promotional merchandise. 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[edit]

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[edit]

In addition to the physical event, E3 supports or is associated with a number of online websites. One website introduced in 2006 was E365,[9] an online community which attendees use to pre-network and schedule meetings with one another.

Media coverage[edit]

The E3 2006 press room

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.com, GameTrailers, and G4.

On site, the event is covered by 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, as well as online 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.

Show organizer IDG World Expo publishes the Show Daily. Previously published by Ziff Davis and Future Publishing, the magazine provides news, and maps of the show floor. IDG also runs E3Insider.com, an online extension of the Show Daily and the convention's official news portal.

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 PS4 Game, Best Xbox One 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[edit]

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 November 1–4, 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.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin, Liam (2014-06-13). "E3 2014 attracts record number of visitors". Digital Spy. 
  2. ^ "E3 is Obsolete, But it Doesn't Matter". Forbes. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ Orry, James (2013-06-14). "E3 2014 confirmed for June 10-12, 2014". Videogamer.com. 
  4. ^ "E3 2015". Electronic Entertainment Expo. 
  5. ^ Dring, Christoffer (2013-07-11). "A Tale of Two E3s - Xbox vs Sony vs Sega". MCV. 
  6. ^ "Atlanta Chosen as Site for New Trade Show". GamePro (56) (IDG). March 1994. p. 186. 
  7. ^ "E3 Replaces Summer CES". GamePro (66) (IDG). January 1995. p. 211. 
  8. ^ "E3 on Track". GamePro (IDG) (69): 146. April 1995. 
  9. ^ "E365". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. 
  10. ^ "任天堂もSEGAもSONYもいないE3/Tokyo'96". PC Watch. 1996-11-01. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 

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