updated 10:15 am EDT, Tue August 1, 2006
E3 changes made public
It's official: the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) says that the expo will be paring down considerably for next year. "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," according to the organization's press release. It will still take place in Los Angeles, and feature game demonstrations, but it will not be the spectacle that once filled a major convention centre.
"The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago," said ESA president Doug Lowenstein. "At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season. 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 ESA also notes that with many regional events, like the Tokyo Game Show, a centralized event has become redundant.
The full shape of the new expo will be unveiled over the course of the next year. Meanwhile, GameSpot has an intesting take on the subject, arguing that Los Angeles will take a major economic hit without the full-sized convention. Apparently the expo brought in an average economic benefit of $20 million per year, including a 50 percent income boost for local taxi drivers. Even the ESA itself will lose out - publishers have agreed to pay millions in compensation to the organization for lost marketing and exhibition fees.