ESA clamps down on E3 ticket scalping, stops pre-mailing

Monday, 10th January 2011 22:03 GMT By Brenna Hillier


Everybody wants to go to E3, but this year it’s going to be harder to slip in unnoticed: the ESA has introduced a new ticketing system in order to combat counterfeit, scalped, and misplaced badge passes, and will no long pre-mail badges to journalists.

Rather than await their E3 pass at the mail box, attendees will be required to display a confirmation email on entry, displaying a barcode either on a print-out or phone, before being issued their badges at the door.

Although in previous years passes were mailed out to attendees, this process allowed pass holders to transfer their attendance rights through illegitimate means. Gamasutra reports that a number of problems have arisen as a result.

Eager would-be attendees have fostered a scalping culture, and driven the price of E3 passes up to $700 online – even the fakes, which, quite naturally, has resulted in unpleasant scenes at the door.

Addtionally, the ESA does not reissue lost passes – perhaps understandably given the cash cow a spare pass represents – and that means legitimately misplaced passes are a nightmare for genuine attendees.

Dan Hewitt, the ESA’s senior director of communications and industry affairs, said eliminating mailed passes will solve multiple problems.

“We think this is a solution that checks off a number of different boxes. It will prevent some of the problems we’ve had with fake badges. It also increases efficiency at the show. It will speed up the process a lot,” he said.



  1. Hunam

    It’s what they do at the EG Expo and it works well enough there.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Callum

    Yer it seemed to work well at the EG expos both times I went (wont be attending ever again mind! )

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Hunam

    Why not?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Razor

    Quite honestly, I don’t understand who’d pay those kind of prices just to go and play games that aren’t the finished product – and often can be pretty bad.

    You can just sit at home and watch the keynote’s on your couch on the TV with a beer :)

    The one advantage of being in the UK.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Callum

    Ahh dude, it’s just gone downhill each year. Especially the career section!

    It was the one about 3 years ago when it was much smaller that really got me into programming and set me on the course I’m on today. I went last year with a mate trying to find the same inspiration for him, and it was a bunch of HR people handing out cards! No developers, no CEO’s, no one on one discussions, absolutely nothing of any use. Some of the talks were OK, but not worth a £20 train ticket and hours of queuing. :(

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Hunam

    I know Rare had a couple of producers there that I used to work with but I can agree the careers bit has gone down hill. The second one was the best for games though. This year was just boring titles mostly. I’ll still go next year just to play some games and meet some friends.

    Plus, Trocadero arcade is a must every visit.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Callum

    Oh Really? Thats a shame we obviously missed the blokes from Rare :(

    The indie bit actually saved it for me thinking about it. Some really different a clever games were being showcased…although almost no one was playing them!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Hunam

    There wasn’t that many games there on this last one. It was like 15 big games and the indie bit. The second one had less of each game, but loads of different games. I had a right day out of it and came away impressed by some games I’d normally have not bothered with.

    But yeah the last event was just held by the biggest publishers and not much else. It was quite boring I guess. Till we all got drunk and came back to play Rock Band.

    #8 4 years ago

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