From Exclusive to Inclusive: E3 Opening up to the Public

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

Ever since the conception of the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in 1995, the gaming expo has been exclusive to the media and others involved in the industry.  Starting this year, E3 announced that they would be opening its doors to consumers for the first time in the convention’s history.


This decision stems from the success of an event the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) held in 2016 named E3 Live.  It was a small free event held outside the L.A. Convention Center that allowed fans to play a few of the upcoming games.  Receiving fan feedback, the ESA has now opened the show floor to consumers.


As an avid fan and player of games in general, I couldn’t be happier.  E3 has been a dream of mine since I first knew about it.  The chance to go hands-on with upcoming games and being able to attend the press conferences by Sony, Microsoft, Bethesda, and other developers hold during E3 is very rare but now it is possible.  Watching the conferences and the media play the games is one thing but allowing us to actually experience and play the games on the show floor is different; by being able to experience the games, fans can form better opinions on the games that are presented and not just go off based on trailers and gameplay videos.


This also allows for the general public to know more about E3 and bring out the video games industry further into the public eye.  While games are acknowledged more now than they were before, the industry is very much still in its own niche.  By allowing fans to attend the show, we can spread the word about the convention further than media outlets can.  There are outlets such as IGN, Gamespot, Wired, Kinda Funny, CNET, and Forbes that can shine a light on this event but that may not be enough; consumers tend to pay attention to the stories that they are familiar with or are interested in, so the news from E3 can go under the radar of many.


The Entertainment Software Association has a chance with this decision to get the average person invested in the games – both Triple-A and Independent titles alike – shown at the expo and other game-based technology (i.e consoles, processing chips, virtual reality, etc.) as well as keep the expo relevant through the changing times of the industry.  It can be a huge marketing tool that would benefit both them and fans in the long run.  


Even as excited as I may be that E3 is opening its doors, this decision can hurt the expo and the media covering it.  E3, at its core, has been and still is a trade show for interactive media.  It is an expo meant for developers to showcase products and garner interest from retailers, media, and in this day and age, fans.  It is different from conventions such as VidCon, PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), PSX (Playstation Experience) and Comic-Con due to the fact that those conventions were meant to service the fans.  E3 was not originally meant for fans so by E3 opening its doors, the convention will be treading new waters.

Only time will tell what effect this decision will have on the expo and the game industry. At the moment, the Entertainment Software Association has no current plans to sell consumer  tickets in 2018.  15,000 tickets for the 2017 Electronics Entertainment Expo went live on Monday, Feb. 13 and are currently on sale for $250 at