Attention gamers: E3 may open its doors to the public*


With people pondering whether E3 has lost its relevance following major game studios like EA, Disney and Activision dropping out of this year's show, organizer Entertainment Software Association (ESA) may be looking to add public attendance to revitalize it.

One of the key questions surrounding the debate is whether game studios are skipping E3 because it isn't open to the public, as only the media and those in the gaming industry are allowed to attend.

So far, E3 has only opened its doors to the public in recent years via publishers allowing "super fans" to attend as guests, and usually only after winning a competition.

However, Richard Taylor, vice president of ESA, told MCV that the show remains "beyond relevant." He added that it's still "the place to make news and break news," and that "E3 is a place that people want to be."

"So if people aren't there, we will find others to be there," he added.

While he wasn't necessarily talking about inviting the public at large, he did say: "The consumer question is certainly part of the equation, and one we will be taking a hard look at."

A future for everyone?

His comments do open up the possibility that in the future, ESA could choose to start letting more of the public attend E3. For example, it could take a cue from some auto trade shows, like the Detroit Auto Show, which is a media- and trade-only event for a few days before opening up to the public.

However, it doesn't look like ESA is looking to open this year's show to the public. After all, E3 is only a few months away and it would seem a bit of a desperate move to just suddenly decide to start letting non-industry members attend.

For this year, Taylor only said the ESA would allow certain fans to attend in a similar way it did last year (through the publishers), as well as considering "some additional elements on top of that," though that could be anything.