Always wanted to experience the hellish nightmare of navigating the E3 show floor for yourself? Good news, if you’re not a member of the press or part of the video game industry you now can…for a price.
This coming Monday, February 13th, 15,000 “consumer” tickets will go on sale for E3 2017. The “early bird” price on the 13th is $150, and after that it’ll cost you $250 to go.
As someone who has attended E3 for twenty years, let me give you an idea of what that $250 will be spent on. You’ll be packed like a sardine in a crowd of gamers who haven’t showered in a month, unable to move. And that’s even before the show floor doors open. Then once you survive the mad stampede of smelly gamers to the Nintendo booth you’ll be standing in lines all day for the chance to play one game. Want to play Super Mario Odyssey at Nintendo’s booth? I hope you’re willing to dedicate one entire day of the show just to stand in the line.
It’s the same story at other big booths like Sony or Activision. Oh, you won’t actually be playing the major holiday releases at the booth. Instead you’ll be standing in more lines to go into a theater to see a scripted demo put on by one of the developers.
Swag? Booth babes? In the last decade those two big draws from E3 have become a myth. In the earlier days, yea you could get some cool things handed out at the booths. Nintendo infamously sent people to the hospital by tossing plush Pokemon out of a VW Pikachu Beetle that people would literally break bones fighting over. But those days are long gone. In the modern E3, the only real swag you’ll get is a little pin or something that’s a reward for standing in a multi-hour line to play a game or doing something dumb on camera to make a fool of yourself.
If you’re OK with fighting nightmarish crowds and lines to see new games and don’t mind missing out on something you really want to play…then the $250 may be worth spending for you. Otherwise, staying home and watching the live streams of the press conferences and the hours of live coverage every major publisher provides over E3 will actually result in you seeing a lot more of the show than actually going to it.