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Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles is All About the Fans

More than 70,300 people descended on the Los Angeles Convention Center last week for North America’s largest gaming trade show convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3.

In addition to the 50,300 industry insiders, journalists, and video gaming professionals who attended the conference, E3 offered 20,000 free entry passes to the nearby E3 Live demo festival for the general public, all of which were snatched up within a day of their release.

“Gamers were the winners at E3 this year,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, the principal organizers of the event. “The advancements in technology unveiled at E3 will redefine entertainment for the world. The innovation and creativity on display will propel our industry to new heights and expand opportunities for remarkable growth.”

All told, over 250 exhibitors featured more than 1,600 products, with many companies offering live gaming demonstrations of upcoming releases.

Attendance exceeded both capacity and expectations. It’s rare for Los Angeles to host an event as big as E3, since half of all of the 200 largest trade shows take place in just three cities — Las Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando. Many were skeptical about E3’s success in 2016 because several major gaming developers, including Electronic Arts, Walt Disney Co., Activision Blizzard, and Wargaming all declined to host booths this year.

However, Electronic Arts instead hosted its own demonstration center next door to the official Expo at the Novo Theater. Fans who signed up in advance were able to play yet-to-be-released games such as Madden NFL 17, Battlefield 1, and Titanfall 2.

“The way that we talk to our audience about our games has fundamentally changed,” said EA chief marketing officer Chris Bruzzo. “It’s not about setting up an appointment to find out what’s coming out in the coming year… Electronic Arts has been going through a pretty significant shift in putting players at the center of everything.”

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