The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is used by many game developer's to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware.
E3 is widely considered to be the ultimate expo in the video game industry and many video game critics, including Gamespot, G4, IGN, and Game Informer Magazine routinely document the annual event and sometimes even provide a series of E3 awards.
E3 was invitation-only in 2007 and 2008, reducing the number of attendees from 60,000 at E3 2006. A separate conference called the Entertainment for All Expo was created to accommodate the public demand for a major, annual video game event.
E3 was previously held in the third week of May of each year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles. In 2007, the convention was held from July 11 to July 13 in Santa Monica, California. In 2009, the convention started June 1 and ended June 4 in Los Angeles. The ESA stated that the event reached a record attendance of 70,000 people in 2005. In 2009 the attendance reached 41,000, an increase of 820% on the previous year's E3's attendance.
E3 is widely regarded as the world's largest regular convention for video games. Video game companies generally spend more on their presentations for E3 than any other convention (including fancy decorations and pyrotechnics). Major video game critics often have a "best of E3" award session (similar to end-of-year award sessions), and only E3 consistently features such awards.
E3 2010 will remain at the LACC and is scheduled to be from June 14 to June 17.
Prior to E3, most game developers went to other trade shows to display new products, including the Consumer Electronics Show and the European Computer Trade Show.
The first E3 was conceived by IDG's Infotainment World and co-founded by the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association). It coincided with the start of a new generation of consoles, with the release of the Sega Saturn, and the announcements of upcoming releases of the PlayStation, Virtual Boy and Neo-Geo CD. Specifications for the Nintendo Ultra 64 (later renamed Nintendo 64) were released, but there was no hardware shown.
IDSA originally asked CES for a private meeting space for game developers, but was told that they could not limit access to only invited registrants. Patrick Ferrell, CEO of IDG's Infotainment World, had sent his VP Marketing to the meeting, and hearing the result, the management team at Infotainment World immediately announced E3. Needing to insure the full backing of the industry, Ferrell then negotiated a partnership between IDG and the IDSA, who then co-produced the show for a number of years
The event ran from May 11 through May 13, 1995 in Los Angeles, California. Keynote speakers included Sega of America, Inc. president and CEO Thomas Kalinske; Sony Electronic Publishing Company president Olaf Olafsson; and Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln. The first show was one of the largest trade show launches in history, with over 1.2 million feet of show space and over 80,000 attendees.
The 2007 show was housed in suites and meeting rooms in numerous hotels in the Santa Monica, California, within walking distance of each other. The Barker Hangar was used for showcasing software.
Online scheduling systemEdit
In addition to the physical event, E3 supports or is otherwise associated with a number of online sites. One site introduced in 2006 was E365, an online community which attendees use to pre-network and schedule meetings with one another.
Many websites and blogs have a history of providing extensive coverage of E3 with live webcasts, game previews, game media and blog entries covering popular press events.
On site, the event is covered by professional journalists from around the world. Proof of credentials are verified before the event or on-site. Originally E3 was almost entirely dominated by print games journalists, the event eventually came to include general and specialist TV crews, newspaper journalists, website journalists, and "fansite" journalists. Many of these attendees came with consumer-level digital video and photograph cameras.
On behalf of the organizers, Future Publishing now publishes the free official daily magazine, named in 2006 as The 2006 Official Show Daily. Previously published by Ziff Davis under "SHOWDAILY", the magazine provides news, and maps of the show floor.
G4 has aired live coverage of E3 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 covering three hours a day over 4 days in the week of the event.