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, California
Country United States
Inaugurated May 11, 1995; 20 years ago (1995-05-11)
Attendance 48,900 (2014)[1]
Organized by Entertainment Software Association

The 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 introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise. Unlike Gamescom and other video-game trade fairs open to the public, E3 is an industry-only event;[2] individuals who wish to attend are 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. In 2007, the convention was held from July 11 to July 13 in Santa Monica. E3 2015 was held on June 16-18,[3] and the 2016 show will be June 14–16.[4]


Before 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 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.[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 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.[citation needed] 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."[6]

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.[citation needed]

The event was held from May 11 to May 13, 1995 in Los Angeles.[7] Keynote speakers included Sega of America president and CEO Thomas Kalinske, Sony Electronic Publishing president Olaf Olafsson, and Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln.[8] 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.[citation needed]


Main exhibition halls[edit]

The main halls contain most of the booth space and exhibitions. The booths, designed to attract passersby with attention-getting designs, often have kiosks with playable demos, "booth babes", celebrities, and promotional merchandise. At the LACC, the South and West Halls are used for major exhibitions. In 2012 traffic was redistributed between the two halls, with console manufacturers in the West Hall and major game publishers in the South Hall. Microsoft had to move from its longstanding central location in the South Hall to a corner location in the West Hall, and Capcom moved from its front location in the West Hall to the rear of the South Hall.

Adjacent to the West Hall is Petree Hall, a smaller exhibition area which historically hosted one large booth. When longtime resident Atari (Infogrames) discontinued its retail operations and Midway Games closed, the hall has been used only for auxiliary purposes.

Meeting rooms[edit]

In addition to exhibition booths, E3 has meeting rooms and other office space. Compared to the main booths, the meeting areas are small, quiet, and austere; used for interviews or conducting business, these areas are generally reserved for appointments and closed-door exhibits and walk-ins are discouraged or forbidden. Meeting rooms at the LACC are concentrated in the Kentia and Concourse Halls, with side rooms in hallways throughout the complex. Smaller exhibitors (for example, licensing companies with no game production) will often have a meeting room and no exhibition booth or a small exhibition booth and a meeting area. Large exhibitors typically incorporate meeting rooms in their main booths, with an additional meeting room away from the exhibition hall.

Online presence[edit]

In addition to the event, E3 has supported (or is associated with) several websites. One was E365, introduced in 2006,[9] an online community which attendees used to network and schedule meetings.

Media coverage[edit]

Large room, with reporters at computers in cubicles
E3 2006 press room

Many websites and blogs have covered E3 with live webcasts, game previews, game media and blog entries for popular press events. Sites include IGN, GameSpot, Kotaku, 1UP.com, GamesRadar, Machinima.com, GameTrailers, and G4.

The event is covered by journalists from around the world, whose credentials are verified before the event or on-site. Although E3 was originally dominated by print game journalists, it came to include general and specialist TV crews and newspaper and online journalists (many with consumer-grade digital video and photographic cameras. Since E3 was closed to the public, guest invitations have been extended to game-specific fansites, blogs, wikis, forum members and other enthusiasts who probably would have attended in the past and social media maintains a connection between E3 and fans.

Organizer IDG World Expo publishes 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 Show Daily and the convention's news portal. Media outlets have made Best of E3 awards in a number of categories, including Best of Show, Best Trailer, Best Original Game, Best PS4 Game, Best Xbox One Game, Best PC Game, Best Action Game, and Best Hardware; the most prestigious is Best of Show of the Game Critics Awards.

Tokyo '96[edit]

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.[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. ^ "E3 2015". Electronic Entertainment Expo. 
  4. ^ "E3 2015: E3 2016 Date Announced". IGN. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  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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