E3 (short for Electronic Entertainment Expo) is a trade event for the video game industry in the United States. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) organizes and presents E3, which many developers, publishers, hardware, and accessory manufacturers use to introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise to retailers and to members of the press. The exhibition is open only to video game industry insiders and journalists, and can only be visited by those over the age of 18. Opened for the first time in 2017, more than 15,000 people attended.
The first event was held from May 11–13, 1995 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would generally be the convention's location in future years. The organizers were unsure of how successful this would be, but by the end of the convention, they had booked most of the space at the Convention Center, and saw more than 40,000 attendees. In the aftermath of its first year, E3 was already regarded as the biggest event in the video game industry.
Over time, E3 has been considered the largest gaming-expo of the year by importance and impact. Before 2017, E3 was an industry-only event; the ESA required individuals wishing to attend to verify a professional relationship with the video game industry. With the rise of streaming media, several of the press conferences were broadcast to the public to increase their visibility. E3 2017 became open to the public for the first time, with 15,000 general-admittance passes for those who wanted to attend. Today, E3 is usually held the third week of June at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, USA.
E3 hosts a pre-planned annual week-long event, allowing participants to easily arrange their itinerary, a move that also makes it easier for reporters to cover the show. E3 includes an exhibition floor for developers, publishers, and manufacturers to showcase their titles and products for sale in the upcoming year. Before and during the event, publishers and hardware manufacturers usually hold press conferences to announce new games and products.
Many video game developers will showcase their upcoming games or release upcoming hardware products at the show, and a fifth of them have never been released to the public. The indie "Game Critics Awards" have been given to the most popular games at E3 since 1998.
According to Wikipedia