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E3 set for a return to form?

Conflicting reports suggest 40,000 attendees and public open days for event in first week of June

The Entertainment Software Association is set to announce that E3 2009 will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center during the first week June.

Next year's E3 is will see greatly loosened restrictions on admittance to the event, with "tens of thousands" of attendees expected to be allowed entry over June 2 - 4, according to Shacknews.

"The old E3 is making a comeback," according to presenter Blair Herter on the latest episode of X-Play. "A broader range of industry guests will be invited. While events won't technically be open to the public with ticket sales, this does mean that more people will have a shot at attending, and yes, I'm talking about you."

But according to a conflicting report by Newsweek, the event will carry on till June 6, with the latter two days open to the public through ticket sales and capped at 40,000 attendees.

"It was a long journey to get there, politically," said an unnamed source in the report. "After vehemently opposing a bigger show three years ago - to now go back to the board, admit a mistake, and advocate for a bigger show. It reflects well on the organisation and the board to recognise they made a mistake and, regardless of how it would look publicly, go ahead and fix it."

This year's E3 event was on the receiving end of much criticism by notable industry figures and analysts, over it's reduced size and format. Before its restructuring in 2007, E3 was seen as the key event for retailers and investors to see products, meet with publishers and prepare for the Christmas sales season.

"Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we'll have to have our own private events," commented the CEO of EA, John Riccitiello. has contacted the ESA for comment.

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