This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo looks to be a bit more hectic than years past. E3 announced Monday that it had sold out all 15,000 of its general admission fan passes for E3 2017.
E3 confirmed the news on Twitter:
E3 previously announced plans to open up the convention to fans earlier this year. For $150 to $250, fans could attend E3 to get an early look at the latest games and consoles. Previously, E3 had been an exclusive event for industry press and executives.
While this year’s program is the first to offer broad access to the convention for general fans, it’s not the first time nonindustry individuals could enter the show. As Polygon previously reported, companies during E3 2015 were allowed to invite groups of fans and influencers to the convention. E3 2017 runs June 13-15 in Los Angeles.
The news comes alongside several additional changes for this year’s E3. Now that the general public can attend, general merchandise will be able to be sold on the show floor, as Shacknews previously reported. In addition, games journalist Geoff Keighley announced the launch of E3 Coliseum. The E3 sub-event will run June 13-14 and feature industry talks and panels from developers including Activision, Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft.
In the release, Keighley also detailed what fans could expect from E3 Coliseum’s events.
“Alongside presentations from game developers, we will also welcome some very special guests from the broader entertainment world,” Keighley said. “They’ll join us to speak about the cultural significance of gaming and how this incredible medium has influenced their work.”
The move from E3 and the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3, comes as the stalwart convention faces competition on several fronts.
Within the past few years, many companies have either brought a smaller presence to E3 or pulled out of the show entirely. For instance, Nintendo has made a point of keeping major announcements to its own live-streamed and fan-centric events. Elsewhere, the convention has also had to go against other fan-centric events like PAX.
It’s not unprecedented for industry game conventions to open themselves up to the public, as overseas events like Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show both have general admission days. But E3’s gradual shift into a hybrid industry and fan convention reflects what fans now want from their industry events.