ESA confirms "expanded E3" for June 2009
The Entertainment Software Association has confirmed that E3 2009 will take place 2-4th June next year.
As we reported to you earlier this week, the event is due to be held once again at the LA Convention Centre and is being described as an "expanded E3" that will "welcome all qualified computer and video game industry audiences, including international and U.S.-based media, analysts, retailers, developers and business partners to preview the latest in interactive entertainment and technology".
Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, went on to say: "Video games are the fastest growing and most compelling sector of the entertainment industry. And, this upgraded event will reflect the growth, innovation and excitement of our industry. The breadth, scope and quality of the changes made to the show will make E3 the must-attend event of the year."
Following complaints, drop-outs and altogether unsupportive grumblings about the decision to downsize the event in 2007 and 2008, the ESA said it had conducted "qualitive and quantitative research" to make the decision to expand the even tonce again
A statement from the ESA said: "Changes were necessary to better meet the needs of both exhibitors and attendees— these changes include increased booth sizes, increased qualified audiences, and an intensified focus on reinforcing the high-octane growth, innovation, and captivating entertainment that are driving the computer and video game industry".
Both members and non-members of the ESA will be allowed to attend, and the list of companies allowed to exhibit will grow to include not just traditional, online and mobile games publishers, but also the makers of video game hardware and peripherals.
EA and Ubisoft have already come out to support the move back towards the old E3 format.
John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts said: "The E3 Expo will be the pre-eminent North American gaming show next year. The new, larger event is better for industry leaders and for serious gamers."
Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America, also added: "The video game business will be twice as big in 2009 as it was in 2006 when we had the last real E3 Expo - so get ready for some fireworks! The changes made will ensure that the 2009 E3 Expo conveys the best of what makes us proud as entertainment leaders."
It wasn't made clear if the event will open its doors to the public as the rumours suggested, but we expect more information to be announced in the coming months.