ESA unveils new plans for E3

Smaller, invite-only, next July.

The Entertainment Software Association has announced that next year's E3 will take place in July, with a new name and new criteria for entry set to be introduced.

The E3 Media and Business Summit will run from July 11-13 in Santa Monica and, according to an ESA statement, will provide a platform for companies to "stage major press events, and to have intimate meetings in premier hotel suites and meeting rooms with media, retailers, developer partners and other audiences".

The hotels where these events and meetings take place will be within walking distance of each other, and there will be a shuttle bus to take attendees to major off-site conferences organised by the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Each day a luncheon conference session will be presented by industry executives and analysts. A Serious Games showcase is also planned, and the ESA may incorporate an independent games showcase and hold the Into the Pixel event as part of E3.

Attendees will also be able to take a shuttle bus to the nearby Barker Hangar to see a software showcase. Display areas, which will be managed by the event organisers, will range from 100 to 400 square feet in size.

Entry to the event will be by invitation only, and booking is set to open within the next 30 days.

ESA president Doug Lowenstein pledged that the new E3 will be "more personal, efficient and focused," giving "the top stakeholders who make games, sell games and cover games streamlined access to the people and products they most need to see".

"The new E3 is first and foremost about getting business done. When we asked key audiences what they wanted in the new event, we heard that they wanted opportunities for high-level meetings in a business-like setting, to play games, network, and socialise, to see major company offerings while also preserving the sense of discovery that is so much a part of E3, and to hear substantive presentations on the most important issues and trends facing the industry," he continued.

"We believe the event we have shaped will fulfill all those needs... By combining suite-based meetings with the software showcase in a controlled and business-like environment, we believe we will successfully fulfill our primary objective of giving high-level media the best of all worlds - the chance to engage in highly personal, one-on-one dialogue with leading game company executives, as well as the chance to demo games on their own time and to check out offerings from both the best known and emerging game publishers and developers.

"It will also provide an excellent opportunity for meetings with retailers, developers and other audiences," Lowenstein concluded.

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