E3 to Get Smaller

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, is famous for being big, loud and out of control. Every spring, the major players in the video game industry converge in Los Angeles to out-do one another with massive display booths featuring giant screens on which their latest titles or gadgets are unveiled before ravenous crowds as product demonstrators work their stages like rock stars. But all that may be a thing of the past, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The organization behind the event has announced that E3 is evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities.

‘The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago,’ says ESA president Douglas Lowenstein. ‘At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season. Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences.’

As organizers met for serious discussions about the future of the event, many feared that the 2007 E3 was in danger of cancellation. However, ESA confirms that the show will go on in Los Angeles, but will focus more on press events and small meetings with members of the media, retail and development sectors. Game demonstrations will still be an important part, though the noise and hoopla will be more confined.

‘It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega-show,” Lowenstein comments, pointing out the emergence of a number of video game-related expos around the world, including the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft. ‘The new event ensures that there will be an effective and more efficient way for companies to get information to media, consumers and others.’

The new direction for E3 will take shape over the next few months and the ESA plans to release further details about the show in the near future. For more information about the ESA, go to www.theESA.com.