Trade-only E3 2009 confirmed for June

ESA boss reckons 40,000 will turn up.

E3 2009 will be a return to the old days, the ESA has said, as tens of thousands of industry folks are invited to traipse the LA Convention Center and tour monstrous booths that cost more than the average handheld game's entire development and marketing.

As reported this week, E3 2009 will take place between 2nd and 4th June, but suggestions that the show will then include two public days were wide of the mark according to ESA CEO and president Mike Gallagher, who told Joystiq not to expect that.

Instead the show 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".

Gallagher told Joystiq that attendance would not be capped, and "could be in the neighbourhood of 40,000 or more".

Crucially, the ESA has secured support from publishers who notably slagged off the 2008 "Media & Business Summit" version.

Ubisoft's Laurent Detoc described the 2008 event as "terrible" in July. Yesterday he said: "The changes made will ensure that the 2009 E3 Expo conveys the best of what makes us proud as entertainment leaders."

EA boss John Riccitiello said he "hated" the 2008 format. But E3 2009 will be "the pre-eminent North American gaming show next year", he said yesterday.

We quite liked the 2008 version. We could walk around without being punched in the head and always get a seat in the press room, and didn't have to coordinate with our friends because we'd inevitably bump into them all the time. Oh well.

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