By Grant Stoner | Staff Writer
Last week, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, announced that the gaming event will now be open to the public. On Monday, 15,000 tickets became available for purchase, with prices at $149 for the first 1,000 tickets and $249 for the remaining 14,000.
For someone who has religiously watched E3 presentations since 2009, having the opportunity to attend the show without proper credentials is exhilarating.
E3 is one of the largest gaming occasions of the year, where publishers and developers regularly announce upcoming video game and console projects. In fact, specifications concerning pricing, online functionalities and release dates were revealed for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 during E3 2014. Until this year, public participation was essentially nonexistent. In order to view E3-related activities, gamers were required to watch streams on various websites.
To ensure that customers will be able to fully enjoy the experience, E3 is implementing safety measures regarding ticket distribution. When ordered, gamers will only be able to acquire their passes at the event, preventing scalpers, and the possibility of purchasing fake tickets. Transferring tickets between friends and relatives is not allowed. Each ticket has a unique ID, meaning that groups will have to purchase individual tickets for each member.
According to a report from gaming publication IGN, participants will have the capability to visit the show floor as well as experience specific events featuring “leading video game figures.” The Entertainment Software Association will release further information regarding these events in the future.
Yet, buyers should be aware that they will not be getting the full E3 experience, which is usually associated with press and other industry giants.
For starters, the press conferences, arguably the highlights of the three-day expo, will not be open to the public. E3’s website informs attendees that press conferences are only viewable from online sources, namely Twitch.tv, or through streaming services provided by gaming publications.
Furthermore, participants are expected to purchase tickets before learning about the specific events planned for the public. While these activities may feature exclusive demos, Q&A sessions with publishers and developers or perhaps recaps of conferences, people must remember that this is all speculation. Other than the confirmed ability to browse the show floor, show-goers currently have no idea what to expect with E3.
Fans should still be thrilled if they are able to attend this year’s expo. After all, being able to meet gaming journalists, developers and celebrities, as well as play the latest titles, should entice plenty of gamers to spend upwards of $250 for a three-day pass.
For the first time in its history, E3’s foray into the public space is certainly admirable. While there are currently too many unknowns for the experience to be deemed entirely enjoyable, it is still exciting knowing that one of the largest gaming expos is opening its doors to the public. If successful, future events may allow the public to personally view press conferences or perhaps even receive specialized demos only available to attendees.
For the 15,000 that are able to attend this event, I envy you. The chaos of the show floor, coupled with exclusive demos and events is something I’ve wanted to experience for years. Hopefully, within a few years, I may be able to peruse the show floor, eagerly waiting in line to play the latest and greatest video game offerings.