For many gamers, attending the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is lifelong dream. Since it opened its doors in 1995, the show has been an industry-only event. This meant that only developers, publishers, retail partners, and press were able to participate. However, times change, and recently E3 has seen major players abandon the show floor. Companies like Activision and EA, two of the biggest publishers in the world, have pulled support. In fact, both companies in the past have held their own events the same week as E3, but outside of the L.A. Convention Center. Perhaps the cost of the booth space wasn’t worth the results?
Indeed, over the past few years public events have gained momentum. Companies like to be directly connected with their fanbases. Gaming shows like PAX, PlayStation Experience, and EA Access have been extraordinarily successful at engaging gamers and putting them in touch with their favorite developers. This is nothing new or revolutionary, Blizzard has been doing this for years and look at how popular things like Comic-Con are. It’s only natural that E3 would try to capture some of that audience.
Today the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), who manages the E3 event, announced that 15,000 tickets will be made available to the public starting on Monday, February 13. The price isn’t cheap, though! The tickets will normally sell for $250 a pop, but if you’re serious about attending and have the money ready to go on Monday, you’ll be able to snag a ticket for $150.
What does a ticket get you? Well, in addition to access to the show floor (where the games are), ticket holders will be able to attend special panel discussions. The show is partnering with Geoff Keighley to provide limited access to developer interviews as well. More details will be announced in the near future.
All around this should be great news for everyone. It brings some more income into the event, which should help offset some of the lost money from publishers bailing the convention center. It also involves the gaming community and finally allows them to experience one of the biggest video game events in the world. Developers and publishers get a chance to interact with their customers, and there will be 15,000 more chances to get on-hands impressions and feedback on the latest games on the show floor.
This year E3 takes place from June 13 – 15. It is once again located in the L.A. Convention Center. If you’re planning on attending, just know ahead of time that Nintendo’s lines are usually long. Bring your 3DS or Switch along to kill the time!