Smaller show to take place in July; invite-only format will prevent huge crowds and allow companies and media outlets to conduct business more efficiently.
Game Informer Online talked with ESA president Doug Lowenstein to get an explanation on the what future holds for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the industry's main event. In the Q&A, Lowenstein clarified how the show will change, and why such a change was necessary.
The smaller-scale E3 will still take place in Los Angeles, but no longer be at the L.A. Convention Center, and no longer during the month of May. The new date for the show will be in early July, and possibly at many different hotels or similar venues. The large-scale "every man for himself" show floor atmosphere will be replaced by private, invite-only meetings where game companies can more efficiently show their products to professional media outlets and other VIPs. This will ensure that everything that needs to get done at the show will get done in the three days the event is scheduled for, and not spill over into days before and after.
One of the driving reasons behind the big change is that game companies weren't always getting a good return on the investment spent in putting on a show at E3. It's not that E3 was too expensive; Lowenstein himself doesn't know for sure if the new format will be more or less expensive. The ESA and its members just want to conduct business more rationally and realistically. Ultimately, E3 wasn't doing what the industry needed it to do.
Lowenstein still expects for the big three console manufacturers to have their mega pre-show press events, but then afterwards have a E3-style "booth" setup at a hotel, similar to how Microsoft showed their games to the press after their E3 2006 press conference. The format would allow third party publishers to have similar events, and also allow smaller companies to get more exposure without needing to spend money on a fancy E3 booth.
Details of the new E3 are still being worked out, but comments from the ESA's president are doing a lot to help us all understand exactly what's going on here. As the press release stated, more info on how the next-generation E3 will be setup is coming in the next few months. PGC will bring you any new information on this important development as it becomes available.