The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the biggest video game-focused trade show on the planet. It takes place in Los Angeles, CA every year and attracts game publishers, developers, and marketing companies to the nexus of the game industry for an entire week. This year it takes place from June 13-15, right in the middle of the week from Tuesday-Thursday like usual. Press conferences and other outlying events will begin prior and carry into the weekend as well.
And now, for the first time ever, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will be selling Consumer Passes for the event. Starting this coming Monday, February 13th at 9AM PST, up to 15,000 lucky people will be able to purchase access to the show. Tickets are priced at $250, or $150 for Early Bird discounts. With a ticket you’ll earn access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other related event areas. They will not allow you into the press conferences though — those are handled on an individual, invite-only basis.
Last year the ESA premiered the “E3 Live” event outside of the convention center, which was open to the public for free, but only featured a small number of games on display. Most of the shown demos were either recently released or soon-to-be released games. Plus, it didn’t have the spectacle of the booths inside the convention center itself that fans craved.
Previously, E3 had always been a business-focused event for press and media to preview upcoming games before they release, attend conferences for all of the latest announcements, and network with other industry figures, but that’s been slowly changing over the years with calls to make the conference more public friendly.
I do have concerns over what this will do to the effectiveness of the show as a whole. Lines are already unbearably long in some cases and the crowds will make it very difficult to conduct appointments and get from one place to another. More and more companies are foregoing E3, such as Electronic Arts (EA) and setting up shop in buildings nearby, further expanding and spreading out the event.
Another concern is for whether or not VR-focused companies in particular are ready for the influx of new users. Many members of the public waiting to try out demos will be new to VR requiring additional instruction and assistance for demos, increasing the time per session, and further exacerbating the line problems and wait times. For members of the press, securing appointments ahead of time will be more important than ever.
However, this should be great exposure, especially for several of the smaller indie studios that otherwise struggle to gain a foothold in the crowded gaming market.
UploadVR will be at E3 this year in full force covering anything and everything related to VR. Even if you can’t get a pass to attend as a Consumer, rest assured we’ll bring you the latest and greatest news, previews, and interviews from the event itself. For more conferences and conventions worth attending in the VR space, check out our full event list.
What are you looking forward to learning more about most from E3 this year?