E3 Gaming Expo: Shakeup

Dennis Faas's picture

Despite the massive media attention brought to the gaming world by the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) every May, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has decided to greatly downsize the exhibition.

The late spring Expo, which typically draws in 60-70,000 attendees and nearly 400 vendors, has been deemed too extravagant for its return profit, leading the ESA to ponder its future dynamics. (Source: news.com)

GameSpot.com reports that the 2007 expo will be renamed, rescheduled (now in July), and will have only around 5,000 attendees -- a significant drop in numbers. (Source: gamespot.com)

Reports of the downsizing were first whispered a few weeks ago, when a British trade magazine website presented evidence that discussions had taken place between E3 organizers and the ESA on the future size of the annual conference.

Allegedly, both sides have come to some agreement that the Expo should be drastically reduced in size, even moving out of its usual home at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) to smaller digs.

In addition to a severed number of vendors, just an exclusive few hundred attendees would be invited to the reduced event. Rather than fill the LACC with 540,000 square feet of gaming and booth babes, future conferences would be held in one giant meeting area designated for vendors and visitors alike. The mood would be both intimate and interactive, leaving time and space for only the year's biggest shows and announcements.

As mentioned, costs are at the heart of the potential downsizing. Many game companies go to great labor and cost expenses in order to meet the time and travel demands required for presenting at the conference. In addition, many games must be scheduled, at greater cost to the company, so that they might be ready for showing at E3. The result is a number of major game makers frustrated with the slim return for such efforts, many of whom feeling that the same kind of hype can be generated through magazine and website advertisements. (Source: gamespot.com)

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