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July 30, 2006 - According to a report at Next-Generation, E3 2005 may have been the last Electronic Entertainment Expo ever, at least as we know it.
While no official announcement from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) -- the foundation that organizes E3 -- has been made as of yet, the buzz around the videogame industry this weekend is that E3 is no more.
The reasons for the change are mostly economic. As Next-Generation reports, "the larger exhibitors have jointly decided that the costs of the event do not justify the returns, generally measured in media exposure." Larger companies such as Electronic Arts, Activision, and Midway have long organized their own individual gamer days for the press to see and play their upcoming titles. E3 is often much more hectic and overwhelming than individual events, so it looks like the larger publishers are questioning the value of displaying their wares on the jam-packed floors of the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC).
There are rumblings that the trade show may go on in a different form. The new show would be vastly reduced in scope and scale, and move from its current location at the massive LACC to a smaller venue.
An official press announcement with more details is expected to hit the wire tomorrow. IGN will bring you more on this surprising story as we hear it.
Entertainment Software Association Announces Evolution of E3Expo for 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31, 2006--To better address the needs of today's global computer and video game industry, the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) is evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.
"The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season," said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. "Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences."
The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. As currently envisioned, it will still take place in Los Angeles, described by ESA as a "great and supportive partner helping to build E3." It will focus on press events and small meetings with media, retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, E3Expo 2007 will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years.
"E3Expo remains an important event for the industry and we want to keep that sense of excitement and interest, ensuring that the human and financial resources crucial to its success can be deployed productively to create an exciting new format to meet the needs of the industry. The new event ensures that there will be an effective and more efficient way for companies to get information to media, consumers, and others," said Lowenstein.
Additionally, the evolution of the video game industry into a vibrant and expanding global market has led to the creation of major events in different regions, such as the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others around the world. As a result, Lowenstein said, "It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry 'mega-show.' By refocusing on a highly-targeted event, we think we can do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole, and our members are energized about creating this new E3."
Additional details about the new E3Expo event will be forthcoming in the next few months.