Officials from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the owners and organizer of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), have announced that the association is forming an advisory committee to consider creating a new video game event. Association members are soliciting gaming industry feedback for a provisional suggestion of a West Coast event in late spring of 2007 – the same time and location of the now considerably downsized E3 event
With large scale expos becoming increasingly rare across many industries CES, remains one of the longest running international events in the world. According to the CEA, more than 11 percent of attendees (17,800) already list games and games products as an area of specific interest, while the event has previously been used to preview both the original Xbox and PlayStation.
"Since ESA decided to eliminate the E3 event in its known format, we have been deluged with inquiries on whether we could fill the tradeshow needs of smaller video entertainment companies," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "Our executive board met yesterday and unanimously asked staff to explore ways that we can help the gaming community."
"The Consumer Electronics Association believes that tradeshows are the most viable means for reaching a market as they serve smaller companies and entrepreneurs who need access to media, buyers and investors. Our board, association and events are committed to growing the industry - in fact nearly 80 percent of our members are companies with annual sales of under $10 million,” added Shapiro.
CEA executives, Karen Chupka, senior vice president of events and conferences, and Dan Cole, vice president of business development, will lead the advisory committee efforts. Companies that support the formation of this advisory committee include Auravision, Majesco Entertainment and NCsoft – tellingly just the sort of medium scale publishers which some have suggested may be in danger of being sidelined in the newly reformatted E3 event.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any wide ranging industry support for a new event, though, since the reorganizing of E3 is generally believed to have been as a result of direct input from major publishers such as Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and Electronic Arts.
"A major goal of this advisory committee is to generate gaming community feedback on how best to meet the needs of the industry," said Chupka. "As long as there is desire and commitment, we are ready to service this community and will begin looking at venues in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and for appropriate partners. Should the committee recommend we move forward, we would design an event which is consistent with CES quality."