The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will be joining forces with multiple industry insiders and “new creative partners,” including online collectible retailer iam8bit, at E3 2020 in attempts to “reinvigorate the show.” Many changes will be coming to the event this year, though the ESA isn’t going into specifics just yet.
As noted in a statement from the ESA:
You’ll be happy to know that we’re not producing E3 2020 in a vacuum. For E3 2020, we’re collaborating with industry insiders and new creative partners, including the tastemakers at iam8bit, to reinvigorate the show and, frankly, to shake things up.
The organizer promises new ways to watch E3 even if you aren’t there, via “new streaming and digital programming,” as well as an on-site “super fun floor experience that celebrates gaming culture in exciting new ways.” “Surprise guests” and “experiential zones” also make the features list. The ESA’s statement didn’t have much in terms of what its specific plans are, but it will be revealing more about E3 2020 “over the next few weeks.” This plan seems to line up with the leaked sales deck from last year that sees the show leaning into influencers and the experiential side and making it a consumer event.
For attendees, the ESA is drastically overhauling E3’s media registration process in hopes of winning back trust after last year’s data breach. The site was built by an outside firm, with layers of security and new data management processes baked in. They also promise to collect only the minimum amount of personal information necessary for attendees to register.
E3 has gone through some substantial changes over the years. Arguably one of the biggest recently was Sony’s absence from the show in 2019. Sony will also be skipping E3 2020, instead opting to hold “hundreds of consumer events” to demonstrate its PS4 and PS5 games. But Sony’s absence isn’t the only big change E3 has seen. Other publishers like Activision have dropped out or largely reduced their footprint at the show as well. Even Microsoft moved its showing to the Microsoft Theater—down the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center—to separate itself from E3. The other big change was the inclusion of the general public “gamer passes,” which began in 2017.
Previously, E3 was a trade-show for industry professionals, like developers, publishers, or members of the media, but it has been shifting into a fan showcase, similar to PAX.
E3 2020 runs from June 9 to June 11, 2020.