E3 2020 Could Become a More Consumer-Friendly Show


Things have not been easy for the Entertainment Software Association. While it did have a successful Electronic Entertainment Expo a few months ago in California, information from its attendees has accidentally leaked out online, leaving some wondering if they’ll return for the show. But now some new information from GameDaily.biz indicates that the ESA may be going for a different audience altogether – consumers.

Yep, the trade show could very well become a consumer event, with only a single day set aside for media types. GameDaily somehow got a hold of a “pitch deck” usually reserved for the group’s members, which suggests some startling changes for E3 2020, which is set to take place next June at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Along with the singular day set aside for industry experts, the show could very well see a redesign, with “experience hubs” to surround the usual booths at the show, in the hopes of attracting influencers and potential celebrity activations. Various ESA members seem to be in support of this plan.

With these “experiences,” the group hopes to create “exclusive/appointment only activations for select attendees who will create buzz and FOMO.” But they didn’t feel like going full-on with celebrities, as part of the “Member Decision Points” part of the deck.

Also, the ESA has greenlit the opportunity to provide 10,000 traditional gamer badges to the show, in the hopes of increasing its attendance to the level of other trade shows. That would bring overall consumer attendance to around 25,000. The industry would attend the show on Tuesday before it becomes open to everyone on Wednesday or Thursday.

The ESA has several consumer-themed plans in mind for the show, in the hopes to increase “queuetainment” for those that are waiting in line for particular games and exhibits.

As part of its pitch, the ESA also prepared a series of slides explaining “The Power of Social Good,” and how it can use the “social good brand” of E3 to store “positive chits for future use.” It also talks about potential partnerships with influencers, as well as certain media types. These characters would provide “validation, attention, and excitement across media outlets beyond the video game space,” according to the documents.

One example of working with media came with the CNBC show Tech Impact, in which the group was enabled to “build the show, own the content, and distribute it nationally.”

From the sound of things, the ESA wants to change what E3 is all about, even though it’s been a huge industry show for years and the go-to place for many companies. However, over the years, several publishers have bowed out. Electronic Arts, for one, has vowed to do its own thing with EA Play; and Sony made news this year by not attending the show for the first time in years, leaving a huge PlayStation void in its place.

GameDaily makes note that the ESA has not provided any comment on the documentation, nor the data breach that affected thousands of attendees. It sounds like it’s going to move forward with its plans, though – and the real question is if it will be effective when it comes to attendance.

The full document, complete with the ESA’s slides, can be found here.