For several years, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been a trade-only event, made specifically for press, store managers and other people within the video game industry. However, the ESA has been making recent attempts to get the public involved, starting last year with its streaming E3 Takeover coverage, and now with a separate event that will take place at the same time as E3 2016 this year.
E3 Live was announced this morning, and will be held at the L.A. Live entertainment district, which is close to the L.A. Convention Center, where the main show is taking place. With it, fans can check out the latest from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Ubisoft, Alienware and other partners, with over 20,000 expected to attend. Tickets are already available, free of charge, on the official E3 Live page.
“The biggest event in video games is bringing gamers to the next level. We are excited to introduce E3 Live, a new, high-energy video game event that brings some of the best in video games directly to fans,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association representing the U.S. video game industry and owns E3 and E3 Live. ”E3 Live will give gamers the chance to test-drive exciting games, interact with some of their favorite developers, and be among the first in the world to enjoy groundbreaking game experiences. For fans of video games, this will be an event like no other.”
Several partners are taking part in the promotion of the show, including Facebook, which will be on hand with several Oculus demos. “We’re excited to be back at E3 this year in new and exciting ways, and to be a part of the inaugural E3 Live event. Every day, Facebook connects people with the games and content they love, and give them the power to share. E3 enthusiasts and the gaming industry will be offered a front row seat into this experience by joining us at L.A. Live, and are invited to continue the conversation on Facebook and Instagram,” said Peter Jonas, director, North America Gaming at Facebook.
Twitch will also be live streaming the event for those that can’t make it, and is taking part in the show’s promotion a well. “As E3’s official live streaming partner, it’s great to see them continuing to evolve this tent pole event,” said Benjamin Vallat, vice president of business development at Twitch. “Since the heart of Twitch has always been our platform’s accessibility to all members of the gaming community, we love that everyone will now have the opportunity to check out the latest games and connect with each other at E3 Live.”
Companies taking part in the E3 Live event include The Pokémon Company, which is presenting a special Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions concert that will take place over the course of the event to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
There were mild concerns about this year’s show, particularly when bigger game companies like Activision and Electronic Arts, both of whom had big booths in previous years, opting out to host their own events. But this will no doubt provide great exposure for the show again, and make it a hit with gamers.