We're just over four months away from E3, one of the biggest and most important video game conventions of the year, and things are going to be a little different this time around. E3 is typically only open to members of the industry (developers, publishers, journalists, and so on), but each year a select few members of the general public are allowed in through various contests. This year, however, the The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will be opening up the floodgates and letting in a much larger number of fans.
Starting next Monday, February 13th, E3 tickets will be available for the general public to buy. Tickets will cost $250 apiece (there will be a special $150 "early bird" price available on the 13th only), and there 15,000 total tickets available. To put that in perspective, around 50,000 people attend E3 most years, so a little less than one-third of this year's attendees will be fans. If you have a ticket, you'll have access to the show floor (where the new games can be played), panel discussions, and other events during the three day long convention. The ESA has also partnered up with Geoff Keighley to offer ticket holders access to special events throughout the show, including developer interviews.
Two years ago, the ESA let 5,000 fans into E3 by giving companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft tickets to distribute to their fans (and YouTube personalities) at their discretion. Last year, they held a free "E3 Live" event outside of the Convention Center where the actual E3 proceedings were being held. This year, they decided it was finally time to give the public a bigger piece of the action. ESA's senior Vice President of communications, Rich Taylor, explained the move in a statement to GameSpot.
"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." — Rich Taylor
E3 2017 will be held in the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 13th - June 15th. While you wait for tickets to go live, you can check out the official website.