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Life After E3

Anyone who thought the video game industry would come crashing down because of the demise of E3 as a giant trade show should think again.

For one thing, E3 lives on, though in a smaller, more intimate setting. On Friday, the Entertainment Software Association revealed its first public plans for the reborn E3.

Instead of 60,000 people jammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center each May, the ESA said it will now hold an invite-only event July 11-13 in nearby Santa Monica, Calif.

The three-day event will still allow major video game companies like Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Activision to hold big press events, but it will also enable more intimate meetings in a quieter, less frenzied atmosphere.

The news was the first specific information offered by the ESA since it announced in July that it was planning a major downsizing of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the most famous of the many video game conferences.

And as E3 moves forward with its weight-loss regimen, leaders of several other well-known video game confabs are already looking at ways to fill the huge hole it's leaving behind. They don't sound particularly worried about the alternatives.

"Given the demand we experienced on the (July) news about E3, (we're expanding)," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the annual Game Developers Conference. "In terms of what we can provide to... companies that are wondering what they're going to be able to do with the new landscape, GDC has provided for several years an avenue for people to present games."

Moledina was one of several executives who spoke Thursday on a panel called "Life after E3" at the fourth annual PR for Games conference here.

On Monday afternoon, meanwhile, the Consumer Electronics Association is expected to announce a "major" new video game conference that will be separate from the annual Consumer Electronics Show. CEA is planning a press conference in San Francisco to unveil its plans.

But many in the industry have been questioning what, if anything, would or could replace E3. Some may find such questions unnecessary, given the ongoing presence on the industry's calendar of huge shows like the Tokyo Game Show, the Leipzig Games Conference, China Joy and others. But there has nevertheless been a fair amount of hand-wringing as people have tried to figure out how to replace E3's platform for publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision, Take-Two and others to show off their forthcoming wares.

But to listen to game conference executives, there isn't that much to worry about. It will be up to shows like GDC, the Austin Game Conference (AGC), Leipzig and many other smaller events to provide the industry with enough opportunities to showcase their games that the E3 of old can become an afterthought.

Source: CNET News

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