EA drops E3 in favor of fan-centric event

Posted January 27th, 2016 at 9:45 am

EA Play

Electronic Arts has long had an immense presence at E3, holding down the prime spot right at the entrance of the Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall, and holding a press briefing between those of Microsoft and Sony on the Monday before the show floor would open.

That’s all changing this year. EA will not have a booth at E3 and their press briefing will now take place on Sunday, June 12. Instead they’ll be holding their own fan-centric event rather than being housed within the industry-only E3. 

EA Play will be held from June 12-14 in Los Angeles and be open to the public, who’ll have to obtain tickets as there obviously will be some capacity to the event, but it will be free to attend. Much of it will also be streamed live.

It’s an interesting and probably smart move for the publisher to make as they’re one of the few that could do it. While Sony remains at E3 they’ve also set up their own event each December with the PlayStation Experience. It’s more cost effective, puts the focus all on them eliminating other distractions, and makes it easier to control the message and reach the desired audience given that press coverage has lessened in importance in recent years.

As far as sports games go, the value of having them at E3 has diminished significantly in the last decade. The general press does not go to the event to cover sports games and most have little to no interest in them. It could be far more effective for EA to target the actual fans of the games and let word-of-mouth build that way.