LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — Entertainment Software Association President Mike Gallagher told journalists E3 could see even bigger changes in just 3 years.
Gallagher said “yes, absolutely,” when asked if ESA is looking into dividing E3 between consumer and business days at a small gathering with journalists. This year’s show, which starts Tuesday, is the first in E3’s history to allow 15,000 tickets for the general audience.
Beyond this test run, which will stress how the show balances industry and enthusiast demands, Gallagher confirmed that ESA is looking into a system similar to Gamescom.
“We’re going to learn from this year how this goes,” Gallagher said. “Now, we’re looking at this and saying, ‘Well, if we could move this to where the consumer elements were on a weekend, we would be optimizing for that experience’ … We can’t get on a weekend in this year or next, but we’re really looking hard with the city [LA] to do that. Once we achieve that, we’re looking at seeing if there’s a way to harmonize that, where you have the consumer days and the business days of the show. That would also help with some of the time spread issues.”
Gallagher specified the next two years as being unchangeable in terms of days for the event, but expanded on what a hypothetical scenario for future E3s could look like: “For example, again, this isn’t anything we’ve got on the books, but if you had a Saturday-Sunday, or Friday-Saturday-Sunday as consumer days, you start backing up into the week for when you have some of the other business briefings like what you’re seeing now.”
There’s more than a few issues E3 has to grapple with. One is size, the second is the lack of it. First, ESA has to maintain the “Goldilocks” equilibrium, as Gallagher put it. This is the balance between the show being “too” exclusive and being seen as a failure for being small, and growing so large that it collapses in on itself. Second, the LA Convention Center is going to have to expand if it wants to stay ESA’s go-to spot for E3. Needed renovations, hotel space and an influx of general attendees are stretching LACC’s capacity.
Regardless, Gallagher and ESA VPs Rich Taylor and Dan Hewitt said they can’t wait to get feedback from consumers coming to the show for the first time, and are working with the city to make expansions and improvements to LACC.