All change again for E3 2008

Ben Parfitt
Whilst meeting many of its objectives this year, the games industry’s biggest trade event looks set to change venue, date and strategy for next year.

After ditching the Los Angeles Convention Center, E3 moved from its traditional all-trade May show for 60,000 visitors, to a media and analysts’ show in Santa Monica this year capped at around 3,000 delegates.

But MCV can exclusively reveal that the show will move next year, having only stayed in Santa Monica due to a contractual commitment to run some kind of exhibition in the LA city environs.

The need for a ‘floorspace’ area explains the much-derided Barker Hanger product showcase. A full review of the event will be conducted by organiser the Entertainment Software Association, but change seems guaranteed.

“E3 was less energising, less dynamic and more diluted. There have been less opportunities for business or exposure to partners and media,” Alain Corre, Ubisoft’s executive director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, told MCV. “The new formula was a good try, but it has to be re-thought thoroughly.”

Corre’s sentiments were echoed by many, either publicly or privately.

Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for Xbox, has already suggested a potential new venue. “Maybe we have to leave LA to solve the problem,” he said. “I’m not flying the flag for Las Vegas necessarily, but LA’s not a convention town.”

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