E3 Not Dead, Just Renamed And More "Intimate"
Today, the Entertainment Software Association came clean about several factors concerning the demise - or should we say, metamorphosis - of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It ain't dead, it's just...changed.
The event will be renamed the "E3 Media and Business Summit" and take place in July rather than May. Furthermore, instead of the oversized and amusement-park-style atmosphere, the ESA is choosing a more "intimate" setting. Rather than the massive LA Convention Center, they're moving the show to Barker Hanger, a 40,000-square-foot property located in Santa Monica, California. In 2007, the newly named event will run from July 11th through the 13th, and to ensure that "intimacy," organziers say they're only going to sell 16,000 square feet to exhibitors.
There was no information from the "Big Three" in regards to the traditional pre-show conferences, but the announcement today indicated they would continue. Also much like the old E3, the event will be invitation-only and be open to ESA members and nonmembers.
"The new E3 event will be more personal, efficient, and focused, and it will provide the top stakeholders who make games, sell games, and cover games streamlined access to the people and products they most need to see," ESA president Doug Lowenstein said in a statement.
Eash display area in the hanger will be limited to between 100 and 400 square feet, thus creating smaller booths than E3 fans are used to, and there will also be multiple locations to compliment the Barker Hanger. According to the ESA, there will be hotel suite and meeting room sessions at several Santa Monica and Los Angeles locations.
In addition to the typical booth displays, press events, and the inclusion of other hot spots, the new show will also feature lunchtime panels and executive presentations. And of course, there should still be a "serious games component" to the show.
"By combining suite-based meetings with the software showcase in a controlled and business-like environment, we believe we will successfully fulfill our primary objective of giving high-level media the best of all worlds," said Lowenstien. "...the chance to engage in highly personal, one-on-one dialogue with leading game company executives, as well as the chance to demo games on their own time."
The ESA expects to begin taking reservations and bookings for the E3 Media and Business Summit within the next 30 days.
10/13/2006 Ben Dutka