The Entertainment Software Association first opened the doors to the annual E3 Expo in 1995, and gamers have been clamoring to get a glimpse at the industry-only event ever since. This year, they’ll finally get a chance as the ESA announced (via GameSpot) that a limited number of tickets will be sold to the public beginning this Monday, February 13, at noon (Eastern Time).
A total of 15,000 tickets will be available, and they’ll be priced at $250 apiece (though early bird buyers on the 13th will be able to buy them at a discount). The tickets will include access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other events for the duration of this year’s expo. Ticketholders will also be able to sit in on Geoff Keighley’s live studio show during the expo, which will include interviews with game developers and executives.
One major part of E3 that fans will miss out on is the various Press Conferences that take place in the days preceding the expo. These tickets won’t act as an invitation to those presentations.
“The feedback we heard was clear… they wanted to play the games inside the convention center. In addition, exhibitors inside the convention center wanted to have access to the fans. So this year we’re bringing the two together,” Rich Taylor, the ESA’s Senior Vice President of Communications, told GameSpot.
Taylor later said the ESA is always looking for ways to make the E3 Expo more relevant and useful for game industry professionals, journalists, and the public:
“I think asking, ‘How can we improve?’ ‘Where are video games headed?’ ‘How do we connect with fans?’ are all healthy questions, and that helps ensure E3 stays current and meets exhibitors’ needs,” he said.
“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.”
The 2017 E3 Expo will kick off on June 13.