"This year, for the first time, there will be prosumers in the halls [of E3]."
- ESA senior VP of consumer and industry affairs Rich Taylor.
E3 is just a few weeks away, and this year it seems the event will be a bit more crowded as select exhibitors will be issuing thousands of invitations to their fans and customers.
While the difficulty of getting into E3 has waxed and waned over the years, this is the first time that the Entertainment Software Association has made a show of inviting large numbers of people who don't work in the video game industry to its video game industry trade fair.
ESA exec Rich Taylor told Polygon that 4,000 - 5,000 E3 passes will be issued to ESA member companies based on how much they've spent to exhibit at the show.
"In this age of vast social media, having some of those voices in the hall to report their reaction and enthusiasm is seen as a big plus," said Taylor, noting that some ESA members requested a way to bring their fans into the event. "The thinking was to expend [sic] to include the prosumers and then evaluate how it went after this year's show."
The number of invites being issued is roughly ten percent of total E3 attendance last year, which reportedly grew to 49,800 even as the number of exhibitors decreased year-over-year. It's also interesting to note that the ESA's contract with the Los Angeles Convention Center ends this year, and E3 may change venue in 2016.
For more of Taylor's comments on that issue and the ESA's goals for E3, check out his interview with Polygon.