Key Exhibitors Opt Out of E3 Expo Showfloor in June

March 21, 2016

The Electronic Software Association’s E3 Expo won’t have some key gaming companies on the showfloor – such as EA and Activision – when the show opens its doors in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The game publishers, instead, are opting for smaller, public-focused events.

Other companies, including Wargaming and Disney Interactive, also have decided to skip booths at the show this year, prompting rumors that maybe the show would change its rules and allow the public to attend.

Not so fast, according to Dan Hewitt, ESA’s vice president of Media Relations and Event Management.

“The event right now is on very strong footing, and we are proud of all of our exhibitors and the platform we provide,” Hewitt added.

He said, “The model we have is successful and suits the needs of our exhibitors and attendees. That said, we do review every aspect of the event each year to ensure E3 maintains its relevancy.”

This isn’t the first time E3 Expo has faced a possible challenge with the format of the show. Several years ago, the show split into a public event and a smaller, meeting-focused, business -to-business event, and then switched back to the traditional, larger B-to-B showfloor after the other formats didn’t work.

Even though EA won’t be on the showfloor, it will have a public event – EA Play - next door at the Nokia Theater that will run June 12-14.

“Hosting our own event allows us to connect directly with our players and create a meaningful experience for them,” said EA Spokesperson Sandy Goldberg.

She added, “In the coming months, we’ll unveil more about the games, the event and how to get tickets to EA Play."

For Wargaming, spokesperson Chris Cook said, “We're focusing a large majority of activities on events focused on our players and community. … From a strictly business perspective, E3 just doesn't fit our current direction. It's a show that is very centralized on retail product, and as a free-to-play digital download gaming company, we've realized that, while the show may be a good fit for lots of other publishers and developers, it's currently not a great fit for us.”

Disney Infinity’s vice president of production, John Vignocchi, addressed his company’s decision to skip E3 on Twitter: “We’re focused on different activations throughout the year that allow us to engage directly with our fans and community.”

Scott Lowe, communications manager for Activision, also confirmed his company’s decision not to have a booth on the E3 showfloor in a blog post.

“In June, we’re going to be at E3 showcasing gameplay from Infinity Ward’s ambitious new game. We’re looking forward to sharing exciting new details about the next great Call of Duty game in partnership with our friends at PlayStation. We’re proud to be participating in this premier video game event, but won’t have an Activision booth on the show floor,” Lowe wrote.

E3 Expo drew more than 50,000 attendees to last year’s show and, for now, it plans to stick with its current show format.  

Hewitt said, “As noted in other interviews, we have the strong backing of our membership and exhibitors to continue on our path, and we look forward to seeing everyone in June!”

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