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E3 2017 Will Open its Doors to the Public

| 8 Feb 2017 15:00

If you've always wanted to go to E3, the show plans to sell tickets to the public this year for the first time ever.

For years, E3 was been the focal point of the gaming year. Loaded with press conferences, game announcements, and hands-on opportunities for members of the media, it was the time and place to see everything new for the year. Over the years, the show has lessened somewhat in prominence, partly because of changes to the show (like the ill-fated move to Santa Monica in 2008), but also because of changes to the business. Consumer-focused shows like PAX have grabbed much of the spotlight, and last year, E3 mainstay Electronic Arts even skipped the show for its own off-site event (and will do so again this year).

E3 2016 featured a new event called E3 Live that was helped outside the LA Convention Center, and was open to the public. The feedback from this event was so good that the ESA has decided to take an even bigger step this year: selling E3 tickets to the public.

The ESA plans to make 15,000 tickets available to the public this year. The tickets will be priced at $250 each, although there will be an early bird special on February 13 that will let you get a ticket for just $150. Ticket holders will get to access the show floor, panel discussions, and other events that have not yet been specified. The ESA also plans to work with Geoff Keighley to give ticket holders special benefits, such as access to developer interviews and other goodies.

The ESA's senior vice president of communications, Rich Taylor, told GameSpot of the move,

"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."

This won't be the first time that the public has been allowed into E3. E3 2015 allowed exhibitors to hand out 4,000 to 5,000 passes to so-called "prosumers," and fans have gotten access through contests as well. What this does mark is the first widespread sale of tickets to public buyers. Another change worth watching is that the ESA says it is encouraging streamers to register as media this year, another departure from the norm.

E3 2017 takes place June 13-15, 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. These public tickets go on sale February 13 at 12 PM ET at E3Expo.com.

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