The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced attendance figures for this year’s E3 Expo and has also indicated plans for next year’s show, including a date. E3 is the annual high-profile gathering of video game publishers, developers, media and financial analysts that takes place each year in Los Angeles, Calif.
The ESA announced that more than 41,000 attendees from 78 countries visited the show during its three-day run at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where 216 exhibitors showed off their latest computer and video game wares. The show wrapped up on Thursday afternoon, with some late festivities to close the event. And the ESA plans to do it all over again next year, from June 15 – 17, 2010, back at the LA Convention Center.
“We are pleased that this year’s E3 Expo was so successful for our members and exhibitors in terms of sales, business development and profile-building,” said Michael Gallagher, the president and CEO of the ESA, in a statement. “We are looking forward to building on this great momentum for 2010.”
It’s a turnaround for the show, which, despite a thriving game market, suffered a steep decline in visibility and relevance after 2006, when the ESA decided to split E3 into two separate events — a “media and business summit” and a consumer event called “E for All.” Neither event attracted the vendor participation or industry visibility and buzz that marked this year’s E3.
That change was noted by industry executives, as well. “The E3 Expo has returned as the premiere annual destination for the global games industry,” said Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive Studios. His sentiment was echoed by Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, who remarked that this year’s E3 “reflected the vitality, innovation and global presence of a rapidly growing industry.”
E3 is managed by IDG World Expo, a sister business unit of Macworld’s owned by International Data Group (IDG).
While the show itself is over, Macworld’s coverage will continue through Friday.