Exhibitors at E3 2015 this year will be able to invite fans to attend the annual trade show which has always been closed to the public.
Speaking with Polygon, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) SVP of consumer and industry affairs Rich Taylor said up to 5,000 members of the public will be able to attend E3 2015 through the trade group’s 31 members.
ESA members include Activision-Blizzard, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Sony (SCEA), Warner Bros., and Ubisoft among others.
“This year, for the first time, there will be prosumers in the halls,” said Taylor. “Member exhibitors each have an allotment of some passes that they are permitted to distribute to their valued customers. There was a desire by a number of exhibitors and board members to connect with people directly.
“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.”
Close to 49,000 exhibitors, industry representatives and press members attended E3 2014. The ESA expects the industry number to remain the same with overall attendance up by 10% once the invitees are factored in.
E3 2015 runs June 16-18, but publishers Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony kick things off the day before with annual press conferences.