The Electronic Entertainment Expo – gaming's largest trade show – is breaking tradition and allowing fans to attend the traditionally exclusive event for the first time ever.
15,000 consumer passes have been allotted for this year's E3, allowing those without a business connection to still visit the Los Angeles Convention Center this coming June for a glimpse at the most anticipated (and often some never-before-seen) games around.
Presented by the Electronic Software Association (ESA), only members of the gaming industry and media were traditionally permitted to attend E3.
However, gaming enthusiasts from all over express intense interest for the show's trademark big reveals and surprising announcements – so much so that Sony even streamed its E3 2016 presentation in select theaters across the North America.
A new E3?
However, as companies like Electronic Arts and Activision stepped away from the show to reach a broader audience and fans expressed a growing interest in engaging with the show, it became clear something needed to be done.
E3 played around with opening up to the public last year with E3 Live – a free event held outside the convention center that let fans get a taste of some of the year's biggest upcoming games – though it only emulated a fraction of the 'real' E3 experience.
"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," said Rich Taylor, SVP of communications for the ESA, in a interview.
Those interested in getting their own pass to E3 2017 will have to act fast February 13 when consumer tickets go on sale at 12pm EST/3pm PST.
Passes are limited and unlike E3 Live, attendees will have to pony up $250 per ticket – or $150, if they qualify for an early bird discount on the day tickets become available.