E3, the world's most high-profile games show, will this year host 15,000 members of the public for the first time.


Up until now the show has been designed for industry and media attendees, although recent years have seen these rules relaxed to allow larger numbers of bloggers, YouTubers and "influencers" through the doors.

Public tickets won't come cheap, however. A regular ticket costs $250 (200), with early bird pricing available this Monday, 13th February for $150 (120). Yikes.

Compare that to a day ticket for Gamescom in Europe, which has been open to the public for years. The most expensive day ticket available last year was priced around €20 (17).

No doubt some will still pay for the allure of attending E3 - although anyone with a blog of their own can apply for a press pass to get in free.

Why is E3 doing this now? Public tickets have been on the cards for some time, and this step follows last year's trial of an E3 Live event outside the main LA Convention Centre but with access to some of the same new games.

But while E3 Live was popular, there's an even bigger reason - falling revenue from exhibitors themselves.

Last year's E3 saw major third-party publishers such as EA and Activision shun the option of a large showfloor booth to stage events and announcements on their own terms. No booth meant no revenue for E3 organisers. It also left the LA Convention Centre's South Hall, where third-party companies exhibit, looking unusually bare.

An influx of money from paying members of the public would prop up the event's finances - and it would also reflect the growing importance of publishers dealing directly with fans and influencers.

E3 2017 takes place on 13th - 15th June. Maybe see you there?

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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