Before you pack your bags and book a ticket to LA and find the dodgiest motel to stay in, there is of course a catch. As always.
E3 has always been traditionally closed off to the general public, being a show that is reserved for press and industry people only. This year however, the Entertainment Software Association and its 31 members (Activision-Blizzard,Capcom,Sony,Electronic Arts etc) will be able to hand out public invites to between 4000-5000 regular people.
“This year, for the first time, there will be prosumers in the halls,” said Entertainment Software Association SVP of consumer and industry affairs Rich Taylor to Polygon.
Member exhibitors each have an allotment of some passes that they are permitted to distribute to their valued customers. There was a desire by a number of exhibitors and board members to connect with people directly. In this age of vast social media, having some of those voices in the hall to report their reaction and enthusiasm is seen as a big plus.
I can see why that would work. E3 may be visited by a ton of blogs, news sites and ethusiast groups, but we are a rather cynical and jaded lot. That, and most first-timers are usually culled from the herd whenever they accidentally wander into the indie games hall that happens to be in the middle of the LA Convention Centre. Having a fresh set of eyes means positive word of mouth, and helps reinforce the idea that E3 is a magical wonderland where all your dreams come true.
It’ll most likely also piss off the Toys-To-Life hawkers, who spend three days in lines attempting to get their hands on E3 exclusive Disney Infinity and Skylander figures so that they can sell them for a massive profit online to people who just cannot wait a few months for the game to release. This does of course, put a big smile on my face.
The LACC is going to be packed tighter than a carry-on bag on a low-cost airline then. Last year saw over 49 000 people attend. With that public participation bump, those numbers are going to swell. We’re already packing our rugby gear, so that we can move between the masses more efficiently as we dash from hall to hall for appointments.
So, I’d advise chatting up the game publishers right now if you’ve ever dreamt of attending E3. And stop asking me to smuggle you into the event. My suitcase isn’t big enough as it is, and security is actually competent.
Last Updated: June 1, 2015