E3 Imagine Biography & Facts
E3 (short for Electronic Entertainment Expo or Electronic Entertainment Experience in 2021) is a trade event for the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) organizes and presents E3, which many developers, publishers, hardware, and accessory manufacturers use to introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise to retailers and to members of the press. E3 includes an exhibition floor for developers, publishers, and manufacturers to showcase their titles and products for sale in the upcoming year. Before and during the event, publishers and hardware manufacturers usually hold press conferences to announce new games and products.
Over time, E3 has been considered the largest gaming-expo of the year by importance and impact. Before 2017, E3 was an industry-only event; the ESA required individuals wishing to attend to verify a professional relationship with the video game industry. With the rise of streaming media, several of the press conferences were broadcast to the public to increase their visibility. E3 2017 became open to the public for the first time, with 15,000 general-admittance passes for those who wanted to attend.E3 took place annually in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 1995 to 2019. The event was cancelled for the first time in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the event in 2021 was held online. The 2022 event was cancelled in full, with no announced plans for a virtual event, though the ESA stated they intend to return for 2023.
Before E3, game publishers went to other trade shows like the Consumer Electronics Show and the European Computer Trade Show to display new or upcoming products as well as to pre-sell shipments to retailers for the rest of the year including the late-year holiday season as well as to view for press coverage of upcoming games. As the game industry grew rapidly during the early 1990s, industry professionals felt that it had outgrown the older trade shows. According to Tom Kalinske, CEO of Sega America, "The CES organizers used to put the video game industry way, way in the back. In 1991, they put us in a tent, and you had to walk past all the porn vendors to find us. That particular year it was pouring rain, and the rain leaked right over our new Genesis system. I was just furious with the way CES treated the video game industry, and I felt we were a more important industry than they were giving us credit for." Sega did not return to CES the following year, and several other companies exited from further CES shows.Separately, in 1994, the video game industry had formed the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA, later becoming the Entertainment Software Association, ESA, in 2003) in response to attention the industry had drawn from the United States Congress over a lack of a ratings system in late 1993. The IDSA was formed to unify the video game industry and establish a commission, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to create a voluntary standard rating system that was approved by Congress.
The industry recognized that it needed some type of trade show for retailers. According to Eliot Minsker, chairman and CEO of Knowledge Industry Publications (which produced and promoted the show with Infotainment World), "Retailers have pointed to the need for an interpretive event that will help them make smarter buying decisions by interacting with a wide range of publishers, vendors, industry influentials, and opinion leaders in a focused show setting." Attempts were made between the video game companies and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) which ran CES, to improve how video games were treated at CES, but these negotiations failed to produce a result. Pat Ferrell, creator of GamePro which was owned by International Data Group (IDG), conceived of an idea for starting a dedicated trade show for video games, building off IDG's established experience in running the Macworld convention. Ferrell contacted the IDSA who saw the appeal of using their position in the industry to create a video game-specific tradeshow, and offered to co-found the Electronic Entertainment Expo with IDG.Though several companies agreed to present at this E3 event, Ferrell discovered that CEA had offered video game companies a dedicated space at the next CES, which would have conflicted with the planned E3 event, requiring the companies to pick one or the other. Most of the IDSA members supported E3, while Nintendo and Microsoft were still supportive of the CES approach. After about three to four months, Ferrell was told by CEA's CEO Gary J. Shapiro that he had "won" and that they had canceled the CES video game event, effectively making E3 the premier trade show for the video game industry.
1995–2006: Growth and success through first decade
The first event was held from May 11–13, 1995 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would generally be the convention's location in future years. The organizers were unsure of how successful this would be, but by the end of the convention, they had booked most of the space at the Convention Center, and saw more than 40,000 attendees. In the aftermath of its first year, E3 was already regarded as the biggest event in the video game industry. The IDSA realized the strength of a debut trade show, and subsequently renegotiated with IDG to allow the IDSA to take full ownership of the show and the intellectual property associated with the name, while hiring IDG to help with execution of the event. The show was held in May until 2006.
In 1996, IDG and the IDSA tried a Japanese version of E3, in preparation for a worldwide series of events, at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo (as E3 Tokyo '96) in association with TV Asahi. Although Sony Computer Entertainment was the show's original sponsor, the company withdrew its support in favor of its PlayStation Expo. Sega pulled out at the last minute, leaving Nintendo the only big-three company to appear. Held November 1–4, 1996, the presence of several other gaming expos and lack of support from Japanese game manufacturers led to reportedly poor turnout and rumored E3 events in Singapore and Canada did not take place.Due to failed negotiations for the convention space in Los Angeles, the E3 conventions in 1997 and 1998 were held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Turnout at these shows was dramatically lower than at the first two E3s, which has been attributed to a declining number of game developers and the fact that many video game companies were based on the West Coast, making the cost of sending staff and equipment to Atlanta prohibitive. The show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1999, and continued to grow in attendance, ranging from 60,000 to 70,000 attendees.In addition to the event, E3 started to support (or became associated with) several websites. One was E365, introduced in 2006, an online community which attendees used to netwo.... Discover the E3 Imagine popular books. Find the top 100 most popular E3 Imagine books.