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ESA details E3 2009

Expanded format to make way for increased audience numbers and non-ESA member companies

The Entertainment Software Association has confirmed details for next year's E3, set to take place over June 2-4, at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

Following earlier conflicting reports, the ESA explained that the event's new format will see the number of invited members of the games industry greatly expanded, while members of the public will not be allowed access.

"Video games are the fastest growing and most compelling sector of the entertainment industry. And, this upgraded event will reflect the growth, innovation and excitement of our industry," said Michael D Gallagher, CEO of the ESA.

"The breadth, scope and quality of the changes made to the show will make E3 the must-attend event of the year."

Along with the increased audience, the ESA will now allow non-ESA members to take part at the event, which comes after a number of high profile defections this year.

"The video game business will be twice as big in 2009 as it was in 2006 when we had the last real E3 Expo - so get ready for some fireworks!" said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America. "The changes made will ensure that the 2009 E3 Expo conveys the best of what makes us proud as entertainment leaders."

John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, who had heavily criticised this year's format for E3, commented: "The E3 Expo will be the pre-eminent North American gaming show next year. The new, larger event is better for industry leaders and for serious gamers."

This year's E3 event was on the receiving end of much criticism by 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 and meet with publishers.

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