Next week’s Los Angeles-based E3 game convention will host an estimated 45,000 visitors, up from around 40,000 during last year’s E3, an official with the Entertainment Software Association told UK-based GamesIndustry.biz
ESA VP of communications and industry affairs Rich Taylor promised that the growth would be measured. The organization in recent years reduced the size of the event to address publisher complaints that E3 became too bloated and expensive to attend as exhibitors.
"For this year, if anything there will be a modest, slight increase in attendee numbers, probably in the region of 45,000 compared to 40,000 last year," Taylor said. "We're not tearing the doors off of the Convention Center and waving traffic through the door."
Taylor added that the "primary purpose" of E3 was to provide value for exhibitors, putting them in front of relevant analysts and media.
The event is set to take place June 15-17, 2010 at the L.A. Convention Center. In May, the ESA said that it had 245 exhibitors
signed up for the show.
Attendance for E3 ballooned to over 70,000 visitors in 2005, and while the ESA said 2006 hosted 60,000, the expense, large crowds and noise brought the conference’s relevance into question by exhibitors.
In 2007 and 2008, restrictions on attendance limited the visitor count to just a few thousand attendees in the new Santa Monica location. But after publishers complained that the conference was then too low-key, the ESA was forced to find a happy medium to make the conference worthwhile for exhibitors.
Taylor added, "International retail attendance is up over past years, with close to 200 buyers coming from 74 countries -- and that number's probably going to grow still. International media attendance is up as well, with about 1000 foreign journalists coming to the Expo, which is about a 30 percent increase, and says a lot about the show and the industry itself."