Only Fans Can Save E3

Only Fans Can Save E3

The biggest video game industry event of all is opening its doors to the public in a way it never has before, and it’s exactly the sort of thing the ESA needs to do to keep E3 relevant moving forward. This year, the ESA announced a “reimagined” E3, one with new badge-levels for the public, and an increased focus on the show as a celebration of gaming. It’s a move it needed to make. With Sony making the call to skip the event entirely once again (during the year it plans to launch the next-generation PS5), and with more and more publishers making big announcements on their own time, a la Nintendo, it’s understandable that there have been so many recent questions about E3’s future, and what it could possibly evolve into. [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/01/13/playstation-will-not-be-at-e3-2020-ign-now”] For years, E3 was the event that fans looked forward to, but it remained adamantly a ‘trade show’ (though many people bypassed this austerity with small enthusiast sites and channels). Starting in 2017, E3 made a small attempt to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the event by issuing public badges, allowing members of the general public to walk the hallowed halls of the Staples Center. The number of public badges has increased each year since, but the Entertainment Software Association – the body in charge of running E3 – never fully embraced the fans knocking on its door. [poilib element=”quoteBox” parameters=”excerpt=To%20everyone%20outside%20the%20industry%20with%20a%20love%20of%20video%20games%2C%20E3%20serves%20as%20a%20magnificent%20celebration%20of%20our%20favorite%20hobby.”] Yes, E3 is a place where people in suits meet with other people in suits in back rooms to do things like hash out how many copies of Konami’s PES soccer they’d sell to a Malayasian retailer. But to everyone outside the industry with a love of video games, it also serves as a magnificent celebration of our favorite hobby, the one week of the year when all eyes are on us and the industry we support. In the meantime, other shows were gaining traction with their inclusion of fans. Gamescom in Germany attracted 373,000 attendees last year, and the Tokyo Game Show had 260,000. E3, in the meantime, stayed relatively stagnant: in 2019 attendance was 66,100, down about 3,000 from the year before. [widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=e3-2020-confirmed-companies-attending-the-show&captions=true”] But it seems like the ESA has finally turned its thinking around. In September, the ESA said it hoped to turn E3 into a “fan, media, and influencer festival,” (even though the details of which still aren’t completely…
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