For years, the public has been calling for E3 to open up to, it, the public, and for years the The Entertainment Software Association, who puts on E3, has decided against the idea. But today, that changes, because today, the ESA announced that for the first time ever, E3 is opening its doors to the public. Tickets to the event will be limited to 15,000, and will go on sale on Monday, February 13th.
The tickets will cost $250 ($150 as part of an early bird-like discount available on February 13th) and provide access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other events from Tuesday through Thursday of E3 week.
Additionally, the ESA has revealed it has partnered with The Game Awards host and games media veteran Geoff Keighley to provide attendees with access to special benefits associated with Keighley’s own E3 programming, such as developer interviews. Full details on this, and the many other elements of E3’s new public plans will be announced in the coming weeks.
As you may remember, last year the ESA flirted with the whole public access idea via its E3 Live event, which was free and open to the public. For those of you who don’t know: this was an event located outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center (where E3 takes place, at least until 2021), and gave attendees hands-on time with upcoming games, and allowed them to participate in a multitude of other events.
According to the ESA’s senior VP of communications, Rich Taylor (per GameSpot) there was “”incredible attendee enthusiasm,” but the next step was to actually invite fans into e3.
“The feedback we heard was clear–they wanted to play the games inside the convention center. In addition, exhibitors inside the convention center wanted to have access to the fans. So this year we’re bringing the two together.”
“It’s a changing industry, and E3 has always evolved to meet industry needs and anticipate where we’re heading together–as an event, as an industry, and as fans. The decision to open our doors to 15,000 fans was a strategic decision. It is thanks to our members and their vision and leadership that made this possible. We have a model that allows the business of the industry to continue for our business and media attendees and provides an opportunity for video games’ biggest fans to experience the latest in innovative, immersive entertainment.”
E3 2017 runs from June 13 to 15. As of right now, more than 200 exhibitors are lined up to attend the event. Below, you can check out the new consumer ticket announcement video: