Games | News | E3: A Brief Overview
Everyone who’s a fan of video games, and worth even a modicum of their salt, will know that E3 is the Mecca of the video game industry. E3 is the property of the Entertainment Software Association (formerly known as the Interactive Digital Software Association until 2003), and big players such as EA, Capcom, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, and more, are all members of the ESA. E3 only came to be as the video game industry began to flourish in the 1990s, and those within the industry realised there wasn’t a dedicated trade show space for them to showcase their work. The Electronic Entertainment Expo was conceived in 1994, and made its first appearance in 1995 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre, which has predominantly played host over the past 22 years.
The first convention in May 1995 saw over 40,000 participants, which cemented E3’s notoriety as the biggest event in the video game industry. Since then, attendance has soared to 70,000 (1998 in Atlanta and 2005 in LA), and plummeted to as low as 5,000 and 10,000 (2007 in Santa Monica and 2008 in LA, respectively) when the convention was restructured and attempted to be rebranded. This was due to the ESA attempting to downsize E3, and limit all participation to industry professionals only, such as retailers and journalists. E3 was even temporarily renamed for these two showcases as the E3 Media and Business Summit, as well as moved to July, which has been, thankfully, the only change made permanent. Since removing these constraints and moving the convention back to LA for 2009 and onwards, attendance has ranged from 41,000 to over 50,000.
This year, for the first time ever, E3 is allowing the public to attend, with 15,000 tickets being made available to the average game-loving Joe. These tickets, which cost a fairly pretty penny with the average priced at $250 (£196 for us UK folks), allow holders to have access to the main show floor, as well as miscellaneous events such as panel discussions. This has honestly been a long time coming as fans have wanted this level of access for years now, and E3 had of course been dabbling with fan attendance in recent years. In 2015 they gave 5,000 tickets to vendors to give to their fans, and in 2016 the E3 Live event was hosted at at L.A. Live, which had 20,000 people attend, but was overall branded disappointing. Now that it’s open to the public, you can expect to see me there next year.
Please stay tuned for roundup posts on my site, and enjoy the most memorable moments in E3 history below.