The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association. It is only open to game industry professionals, journalists, and guests of exhibitors, such as celebrities. As of 2007, E3 will be invitation-only, meaning that instead of around 60,000 people at E3 there will only be 5,000. The reason for this change is to allow for a more intimate atmosphere where business will be emphasized. A separate conference called Entertainment for All Expo has been created to accommodate the public demand for a major, annual video game event.
E3 was previously held in the third week of May of each year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles. In 2007, the show will be held in Santa Monica, California from July 11 to July 13. The ESA said that over 70,000 people attended the show in 2005.
Many video game developers show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware at the event, The independent "Game Critics Awards" have been given to "Best of E3" games in various categories since 1998.
The Game Developers Conference is another yearly milestone for developers held in the spring each year in San Jose or San Francisco, California, and generally billed as an educational conference for game developers, while E3 is primarily a showcase, aimed at the press and retailers.
On July 31, 2006, it was announced that the expo would be downsized and restructured and on October 13, 2006 the new format of the show was detailed. Essentially, the E3 "Trade Show" was replaced with a much lower-key and inaccessible event or series of events known as the E3 Media and Business Summit. It will focus on press events and small meetings with media, retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, E3 2007 will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years.
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