2009 E3 Expo to dramatically expand

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced plans to hold the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) from June 2-4, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event will be dramatically expanded, according to the company.

E3 is the legendary video game exhibition open to the press, analysts, retail buyers and business people involved in the computer and video game industries. In its heyday, the event attracted tens of thousands of attendees, all of whom clamored to see the latest and greatest video games on display before they could be purchased.

E3 developed a reputation as a rich spectacle chock full of elaborate booths showing off the latest wares, extravagant parties and exclusive events designed to draw attention to the latest products from leading game makers. All that ended in 2006, when, at the behest of some of the biggest names participating in the event, the ESA decided to change E3 to a much smaller, invitation-only gathering in Santa Monica, Calif.

Relabeled the E3 Media and Business Summit, the gathering moved back to the L.A. Convention Center after its first year, and was joined by a consumer-focused event called E for All Expo. Neither event lived up to the hype or reputation of their predecessor, however. Some of the same voices that clamored for the original E3 to be stopped suggested that a mistake had been made.

That mistake was readily acknowledged in a statement prepared by the ESA noting the 2009 event.

“After conducting both qualitative and quantitative research, ESA officials stated changes were necessary to better meet the needs of both exhibitors and attendees -— these changes include increased booth sizes, increased qualified audiences, and an intensified focus on reinforcing the high-octane growth, innovation, and captivating entertainment that are driving the computer and video game industry,” reads the statement.

IDG World Expo will produce the event with the ESA.

IDG World Expo and Macworld are both business units of International Data Group (IDG).

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