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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
E3 videogames showcase slims down
The expo regularly attracts up to 60,000 visitors
The world's largest videogames show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), is to finish in its present form.

The annual three-day "mega-show" will no longer take place at its traditional home, the Los Angeles Conference Center.

Instead, the expo, which regularly attracts an audience of up to 60,000, will be held at a series of hotels to provide a more "intimate" event.

Some videogames fans say the move signals the "death of E3."

An executive at a videogames company who wished to remain anonymous expressed regret at the decision.

"E3 is very important for revealing milestones in the games industry. It's the one place journalists and industry figures can see all the biggest developments in software and hardware side-by-side to make comparisons," he said.

Shifting market

E3 is where companies tout their forthcoming hardware and software.

At this year's event, more than 400 companies from 90 countries showed off their wares in an attempt to grab a slice of an industry worth an annual $25bn (13.5bn) globally.

I would rather they cancelled Christmas than E3
BLU, London

Companies like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony made key announcements about their latest hardware.

More than 60,000 technology fans also came to try out the latest games.

But the owners of E3 say the expo will change for 2007 to reflect changes in the videogames industry.

"The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3 was created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the owner of E3.

"Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate programme, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences."

The new look E3 will do away with the huge trade show that takes over the Los Angeles Conference Center. In its place will be a series of smaller meetings held in hotels around the Los Angeles area.

Mr Lowenstein said that because there are now other major games events such as the Games Convention in Leipzig and the Tokyo Game show, there was no longer a need for a "single industry mega-show".

"By refocusing on a highly-targeted event, we think we can do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole," he said.

Do the changes signal the death of E3?

Well, at least I got to go once before the freebies stop. Very sad, E3 seems like a great way to focus media and public attention onto the lauch of new products, whereas now we get suits doing deals behind closed doors...
Phil Ward, Cardiff, Wales

I would rather they cancelled Christmas than E3 :(
BLU, London

The net result will be that the smaller games companies will get squeezed out, or at least relegated to a local motel in the hope that someone stops for a coffee on the way to Microsoft, EA or one of big names.
Julian Cook, Ashford, Kent

Is this the death of E3, of course it is. E3 was the main show case for the games industry, and acted as a focal point for firms and gamers. Just look at how many media oulets covered it, its free advertising for many of the companies that attend. However, gamers shouldn't worry too much, given the size of the industry (and the big releases planned next year) someone will step in and create something new to take its place, E3 will become distant memory.
Harry Sagger, London

It's a shame E3 has died or at least been zombiefied. I've always wanted to go (alas, I am too young) and now that it is cancelled I can't go. E3 was the one thing I cared about in March and I could not wait to get home to see what the companies had revealed. When was the Wii going to launched? Did the demos with the Wii work well? When will be the next Super Smash Brothers? How much will all of that cost? All those questions could have been answered and most of them were. I could have asked one E3 questions like that one year, but now I can't. Because E3 is dead.
Zachary Taylor, Bristow of Virginia, USA

As a part-time journalist, i find this very disturbing, although valid points are made. The trade show is very big and continued to grow with each year. Smaller companys felt the pressure to step up to the massive marketing hype, when this effort could be put into the games themselves. I think this is a good move for the videogame industry, but i will miss all the fireworks & drama.
Mark Smyth, Belfast

I believe that changing E3's format is a big mistake. It has long been the biggest date in the video gaming calendar and although I have never attended, I always look forward to the hype and the gossip that comes with E3. I believe that making its format more intermit and business orientated is a big blow for gaming enthusiasts the world over. This change will be the death of E3.
Matthew Gardner, Westashling, West Sussex

Death and change are two different things. E3 will lose appeal to the masses but as a corporate tool, it may be better. The owners of ECTS did a similar thing with a scaled down, more personal approach and it turned into something similar to a sunday market.
Graeme, London

This part of the text made me smile: "But the owners of E3 say the expo will change for 2007 to reflect changes in the videogames industry." Does this mean its going to evolve into a sub-standard sequel or yet another rush-released franchise title? As that's what we seem to be getting from most of the big game producers these days. Come on guys- where's the innovation we used to see a few years ago? (GTA:SA and Guitar Hero being the exceptions).
Carl Johnson, Las Venturas, San Andreas

E3 has increasingly become nothing more than grounds for the big companies to wave their egos around as they try to out-do each other in the all-important "wow"-factor stakes, whilst increasingly remaining distanced from their real target audience. If changing the focus to smaller, intimately geared events helps to reconnect the general audience with the companies trying to sell their ideas and innovations, that can only be a good thing for pushing the market forwards.
Michael Griffin, Cambridge, UK

Gutted. This was one of those things I wanted to do when I can afford it. A dream shattered, shame - it wont be the same. But... on the other hand the industry is always changing and growing maybe something new will grow from the ashed of E3 for the next generation to enjoy.
Anita Edmunds, Orpington, Kent, UK

In terms of E3 dying, it is relative. E3 will no longer have the masses of people following queuing there. As for the industry side it is a more realistic and down to earth approach. Companies now are faced with 24 hour reporting and so summing things up at E3 does not really get them far. If anything, those wishing to showcase their products should find better ways of promoting their technologies. This may give rise to individual launch events which would probably span across the year. Keep the excitement coming without having a year of buildup.
Gabriel Asseily, London, UK

This is a great shame. Still I guess it was the next logical step for them after getting rid of the "booth babes" ;-)
Miles Henderson, Ipswich

As someone involved in the development of videogames, my feelings about the demise of E3 in it's current format are mixed. It was a great opportunity for the industry to get together and showcase its latest products. I have fond memories of wandering the show floor, trying out hundreds of pre-release games from various software publishers. However, the pressure to deliver something to showcase at E3 (months before a game is due for release) leads to a lot of stress and late nights for the development team. To cap it off, the final software often differs substantially from what is demonstrated on the show floor. A lot of people who play games are getting tired of the endless hype and overblown coverage afforded to companies who really don't put their money where their mouth is. For example, Sony's live PS3 demonstrations this year were a laughable climbdown from the "concept renders" they showed at E3 2005. I'm not sure if the new format will do much to avoid that, but if the focus does move away from spectacle and volume of content towards titles that really are ready for closer attention then I think it will be a net positive for all involved.
Alan Cook, London

E3 has been getting out of control with ever larger displays and stands. Most of the big players make their major announcements behind closed doors in seperate hotels anyway so this seems a logical step to take.
David, London

This is a great loss to the game industry. E3 was the premier event for gaming of which the Games Convention and Tokyo Game Show will never match. Smaller publishers will now have a harder time of showcasing their titles at a world renowned event and niche titles and hidden gems may now go unnoticed.
Andrew McKendry, Bushmills, Northern Ireland

No, the changes made do not signal the death of E3. Quite the opposite. E3 for a good while now has been nothing but a PR event that has lost it's ability to showcase new ideas. In replacement the main console contenders have been controlling the show, not allowing enough viewing to go to new development ideas in the electronic entertainment industry. E3 was never meant to be a show devoted entirely to the console craze. It was meant to be a showcase and gradually it has rusted and decayed over the years. Changing the expo to just a series of hotels will help in allowing developers to push forward what they will be selling, rather than creating a mass advertisement scheme that gives very little information at the end of the day.
William Main, Glasgow, UK

I've gone to E3 the passed two years and as a gamer, I never felt more connected to the industry and the people surrounding it. Since attending, I've been more in-tune with upcoming games, their developers and more. For someone like myself who is making an attempt to get more involved in video games from a business stance, this absolutely crushes me that developers are robbing the fans of a great experience, its not like the tickets to E3 were free.
Mike Antebi, Northridge, CA

This certainly does signal the death of E3! E3 is one of the best ways for the Gaming industry to communicate with the magazone editors, and in turn, the general public. In a hotel, there is only so much you can display, whereas in LA, the gaming companies had all the space they wanted to show off their creations. We could be missing out on some important revelations in gaming because of this.
Simon Preval, Leicester

I think its the end of days for E3. This first of all means that a good number of video game afficionados will be discriminated and E3 will no longer be the sensation it has been to gamers. Its venue change has no justification according to those who agree with me and if the organizers have a reason I would prefer they let the followers decide.
Antony, Kenya

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