E3 2009 Announced: Return to Former Glory

Remember the big, glitzy E3 video game shows that now seem like a distant memory ? So do most enthusiasts, and fondly they do remember. But now, it seems that the big E3 of old could be making a comeback.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which represents US computer and video game publishers, announced that the next Electronic Entertainment Expo will take place from June 2-4, 2009. Once again, the show will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but unlike the show from this year, it looks to be on a bigger scale and include more of the industry.

“Video games are the fastest growing and most compelling sector of the entertainment industry. And, this upgraded event will reflect the growth, innovation and excitement of our industry,” said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA. “The breadth, scope and quality of the changes made to the show will make E3 the must-attend event of the year.”

Up until 2006, E3 was the biggest video game show in the world, open to the entire industry’s ecosystem : media, analysts, retailers, developers and business partners. While the show was always presented as an industry event, there were always riffraff. E3 2009 is reopening itself to the entire business, and potentially outside of it, in hopes to recapture the spirit of old.

With E3 2007, the ESA did away with all the excess that made the old show what it was, instead now transforming it into a quiet media event – no more glitz, no more glamour. E3 from the previous two years offered developers and publishers a convenient place to display their games to the press for the mountains of previews of games expected for the holiday season. It was an effective event, but ultimately a boring one for the entire industry.

The ESA recognized that a non-fat E3 wasn’t what anyone wanted. After conducting both “qualitative and quantitative research,” the ESA said that “changes were necessary to better meet the needs of both exhibitors and attendees.” Such changes include increased booth sizes, bigger audiences, and essentially more glitz and glamour.

“The E3 Expo will be the pre-eminent North American gaming show next year. The new, larger event is better for industry leaders and for serious gamers,” commented John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts.

Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America, also echoed feelings that the big, expensive E3 is a good thing, with the upcoming one to be even bigger. “The video game business will be twice as big in 2009 as it was in 2006 when we had the last real E3 Expo - so get ready for some fireworks !” he said. “The changes made will ensure that the 2009 E3 Expo conveys the best of what makes us proud as entertainment leaders.”

We all know what this means : booth babes are back !

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