Electronic Entertainment Expo
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is used by many video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware.
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E3 is widely considered to be the ultimate expo in the video game industry and many video game critics, including IncGamers, Gamespot, G4 and IGN routinely document the annual event and sometimes even provide a series of E3 awards.
E3 was invitation-only in 2007 and 2008, reducing the number of attendees from 60,000 at E3 2006. A separate conference called the Entertainment for All Expo was created to accommodate the public demand for a major, annual video game event; however, it has not been able to replicate E3's success.
E3 was previously held in the third week of May of each year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in Los Angeles. In 2007, the convention was exceptionally held from July 11 to July 13 in Santa Monica, California. In 2009, the convention started June 1 and ended June 4 in Los Angeles. The ESA stated that the event reached a record attendance of 70,000 people in 2005. In 2009, the attendance reached 41,000, an increase of 820% on the previous year's E3's attendance.
Video game companies generally spend more on their presentations for E3 than any other convention (including fancy decorations and pyrotechnics). Major video game critics often have a "best of E3" award session (similar to end-of-year award sessions), and only E3 consistently features such awards.