E3 2008 to remain in Los Angeles, will return to the Convention Center

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It’s official, E3 2008 will remain in Los Angeles, despite months of speculation that it could move to a new city. In an interesting turn of events, however — according to the press release Destructoid just received — the popular trade show will be moving from last year’s beach side Santa Monica location to its former home at the massive downtown Los Angeles Convention Center.

This is great news for the large majority of the videogame industry who almost lost its ever-loving mind traveling from hotel to hotel on those damned shuttles during E3 2007 … but for those of you expecting a return to the over-the-top glory of days past, don’t get excited just yet. Although the show will be in the Convention Center once again, it looks like the popular trade event will maintain its revamped style, composed of strict invite-only meetings and a very limited show floor.

Personally, I am happy about the move to the Convention Center (as it selfishly is a quick subway ride away from my dolphin palace), but am confused by the new show’s intentions. The L.A. Convention Center just begs for spectacle, and walking into a huge room with only a small row of awkwardly organized cubicles will just seem strange. Why have it in such a giant space if you aren’t going to utilize the environment’s strengths? Even though it was mass chaos, I will miss seeing a huge animatronic dwarf towering over the Blizzard booth or a plethora of giant monitors blinding the attendees and causing huge sweaty bottlenecks around every booth babe covered bend. Actually, maybe I won’t miss all that.

Regardless, the announcement is exciting and interesting. It sounds like the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) listened to a lot of the criticisms from last year and is trying its best to improve what should be the greatest videogame expo in the world. For now, I remain cautiously optimistic.

Hit the jump for the full press release.

Entertainment Software Association Announces 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit

Washington, DC – December 18, 2007 – The 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will take place from July 15 – 17, 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today. The event will continue to focus on the business of the computer and video game industry, with an emphasis on press events and small meetings with media, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years.

“The US is the world’s number one video game market and the E3 Media & Business Summit is its premier video game conference. The 2008 Summit will provide a professional and efficient environment for suite-based meetings with media, and other industry leaders,” said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, which represents US computer and video game publishers and organizes the E3 Media & Business Summit. “We look forward to welcoming the media and top industry executives to a centralized, business focused and personalized experience. Our program of high-level meetings, networking and personal dialogue, and industry-shaping panel discussions will capture the explosive growth we have seen in 2007 and lay the foundation for the 2008 video game marketplace.”

The event will be open to ESA members and non-members alike. Companies involved in console, PC, online, and mobile game publishing and developing, as well as makers of video game hardware and peripherals will be eligible to participate. Attendance at all events, meetings, and demonstrations will be by invitation only.

Additional details about the Summit will be forthcoming in the next few months.

The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7.4 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2006, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.

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