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

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

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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.

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