Today, the Entertainment Software Association has revealed that the E3 Media & Business Summit is returning to its old home at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 2008 event, which is scheduled to run from July 15 through July 17. However, this doesn't mean everything is going to be the way it was in the '90s.
"We are very much not going back to the old E3," Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications and research for the ESA, said to Kotaku. "I think we are all on the same page for the industry on what we want those days in July to be about. This is the new E3, new and improved."
So get the visions of that giant, sprawling show out of your head and re-focus on the design from last year: smaller, more intimate industry meetings and – perhaps unfortunately for most show-goers – a far lower number of hot booth babes. But the L.A. Convention Center should still fit the new style well; better than the Santa Monica location for 2007, anyway. That E3 featured publisher meetings spread out across a series of hotel suites, with a separate exhibit hall that wasn't exactly teeming with attendees. Not surprisingly, most people didn't like this new format.
"We talked to many folks, participants on both the media and industry side of things, one of the overriding things they wanted was a more centralized facility," Taylor said. "That's one reason we moved back to the LA Convention Center… hotels are walking distance from the convention center, they're closer to each other…"
According to the press release we saw this morning, the ESA redefined their intentions for the 2008 show- They "will continue to focus on the business of the computer and video game industry, with an emphasis on press events and small meetings with media, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years." For 2008, exhibitors will consist of both ESA and non-ESA members, and the new trend of "invitation-only" for all meetings and events will continue. This goes for the press, too, so if anybody doesn't have an invitation in hand, don't bother showing up.
We certainly weren't too impressed with E3 2007, so perhaps this is a good move to return to the Convention Center. At the very least, attendees won't have to travel all over the place just to take in a few small meetings. It just seems more convenient the whole way 'round.
"The US is the world's number one video game market and the E3 Media & Business Summit is its premier video game conference. The 2008 Summit will provide a professional and efficient environment for suite-based meetings with media, and other industry leaders," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, who represents US computer and video game publishers and owns the E3 Media & Business Summit. "We look forward to welcoming the media and top industry executives to a centralized, business focused and personalized experience. Our program of high-level meetings, networking and personal dialogue, and industry-shaping panel discussions will capture the explosive growth we have seen in 2007 and lay the foundation for the 2008 video game marketplace."