Photo courtesy of the Entertainment Software Association A few days back, I heard E3 would be opening itself up to the public for the first time. That news that was confirmed today by the Entertainment Software Association, the organization that runs E3. An allotment of 15,000 tickets will be sold, starting February 13. Tickets bought that day will cost $150, while any tickets (if any are left) will run $250. I'd expect them to sell out pretty quickly, if not day one.
E3 has played with the idea of moving beyond a strict business show before, a move that's been accelerated by the growing proliferation of fan conventions like PAX and companies like Electronic Arts ditching the convention floor and building their own public events around E3.
According to a source briefed on the news ahead of time, it sounds like E3, like PAX and Comic-Con, will hold panels with developers. When asked, the ESA pointed towards a still-developing set of "gamer events and discussions with leading video game figures" being done in coordination with game journalist Geoff Keighley.
But if you're thinking of attending, prepare to do what you do at other conventions: stand in line and realize lots of games are behind closed doors.
I'm glad that people can show up at E3, though. Ignore the cynical journalists and critics on Twitter who've attended a million E3s in the past; it's rad to be at gaming's epicenter. E3's problem, though, is that gaming news has been leaving E3 for years now. It's still a major event, but it's no longer the be-all and end-all. 15,000 fans are unlikely to change that, but if you've always dreamed of attending E3, an event that inspired me to become part of the industry as a kid, it's possible.