E3 2011 attendance grows to 46,800

Attendance is up at expo even as exhibitor number shrinks; trade show to return to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 5-7, 2012.

LOS ANGELES--The Electronic Entertainment Expo ends today, and the organizing Entertainment Software Association revealed it to be the best-attended iteration of the trade show in five years. According to the ESA, 46,800 people were at E3 2011, bringing in an estimated $25 million in revenue to Los Angeles.

The E3 2011 attendance represents a slight increase over the 2010 show, which attracted 45,600 industry professionals, retailers, and analysts. The 2009 show--the first large-scale E3 after the ESA spent two years trying out drastically smaller formats--drew 41,000 people. While the show's attendance number is trending upward, this year's E3 was not the biggest ever. The 2006 show attracted more than 60,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

E3 crowds are growing again, but the number of exhibitors was down significantly this year. The ESA said "more than 200" exhibitors showed their wares at this year's show, down from "approximately 300" in 2010.

Looking ahead, the ESA also confirmed it would return to the LACC for E3 2012, dating next year's event for June 5-7, 2012. For those who missed this year's event, check out GameSpot's complete coverage of E3 2011 for a plethora of hands-on previews, news, live stage demos, and more.


  • SanManterino

    Posted Jun 17, 2011 11:02 am GMT

    Wow I could've sworn that the top part of the LAAC building in the pic where the battlefield ad is at was a giant n64 game cart lol.

  • dark_rage864

    Posted Jun 14, 2011 4:39 pm GMT

    this E3 was the start, just wait till next year for the biggest shock in gaming. yes i said gaming

  • breakitapart

    Posted Jun 13, 2011 3:55 pm GMT

    That's 5.8 miles of poop. If everyone dropped pipe in one day and each turd was approx. 8" long and layed end to end.

  • surferx0

    Posted Jun 13, 2011 11:14 am GMT


    That was not the reason for the higher attendance figures in 2006 (2005 was actually the highest), the same industry people would have been present at the show regardless. The higher attenandance was due to retail store employees being allowed access back then. This is not the case anymore.

    For example I was able to attend E3 from 2004-2006 because all you had to do was be an employee of an electronics store like Best Buy or Gamestop and you got in, so there were lots of regular people like me there and not just industry insiders and journalists.

    However regular retail employees are no longer granted automatic access, you have to be a higher level employee of a retail store such as a corporate buyer (or submit fraudulent credentials) to get in. This is why attendance is lower, because entrance requirements are still more strict than they used to be.

    Regardless, I don't think E3 cares to go for attendance records, because they could just open it to the public if they wanted to do that, and if you were there during either 2005-2006 shows you would have saw how crowded and outrageous it was (not denying that it was still the most fun I've had at any convention ever of course). I imagine for those who actually go to E3 for its intended purpose, doing your job would have been incredibly frustrating with all the gamers and fans like myself crowding the place up. An extra day or two for gamers and fans is still needed, a modest and fair entrance fee would have to be determined to offset the enormous cost to the game companies for staying at the convention of course...so they don't leave early.

  • juiceair

    Posted Jun 13, 2011 3:12 am GMT

    Why not make E3 a 7-day event (first 4 for the people who don't really care but go because of their jobs) then have the last 3 for gamers and fans? Of course if I were planning it, the journalists, analysts, retailers, etc....would sit at home watching it streamed from the internet and the fans would get in free!

  • Lotus-Edge

    Posted Jun 12, 2011 10:33 pm GMT

    Went one year...I'll just watch from home now...

  • slicedbread117

    Posted Jun 11, 2011 8:21 pm GMT

    i would give anything to go to E3

  • Metroidfire

    Posted Jun 11, 2011 12:34 pm GMT

    is battlefield 3 going to be on wiiu?

  • amaan4ever

    Posted Jun 11, 2011 2:56 am GMT

    The reason 2006 attendance was so high was cuz of the unveiling of the wii and ps3. Btw i so wanna go to e3 but the tickets are extremely limited to the public and each one cost around $500. I can get a 3 day disneyworld pass+hotel with that price

  • Henninger

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 9:45 pm GMT

    @ mateusprado

    I agree with everything u said. E3 needs 2 b open 2 the public. Let the industry go 1st & then let the fans come in on the last day or on an fans only day or something.

  • mateusprado

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 8:32 pm GMT

    e3 is a business show, BUT like TGS and GC, needs a 1 DAY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, 1 OR 2 DAYS IS ENOUGHT, BUT ESA IS SO IDIOT AND CRUEL

  • mateusprado

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 8:27 pm GMT

    e3 2012, 1 DAY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, like TGS and GC, if you think so, positive me.

  • Omega_Zero69

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 2:22 pm GMT

    i will probably go next year or the year after that since i live close to the convention center and i find it awesome to see it in person

  • drokmore

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 10:07 am GMT

    Decent showing, interesting to note a lot less group doing exhibits, not suprised in this time of recession.

  • sonictank

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 10:04 am GMT

    ya know the numbers would be better if they let the darn public into the event for once i mean like as in letting the public inside their doors so they can get a taste of the games not just watch them

  • wif1997

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 4:27 am GMT

    battle field 3 is on the n64 ?

  • Dojomeat

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 2:21 am GMT

    @kindredmachine Ahk thanks for clarifying that, considering the entry prerequisites the attendance rate is pretty good then, if it were open to the public those figures would easily be 100,000+, possibly even higher, i for one would kill to go lol

  • kindredmachine

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 1:05 am GMT

    @Dojomeat E3 is for industry insiders, media, developers and retailers etc... Our company goes every year but for extra tickets we pay $500 per person for entry. If this expo was open to the public, we wouldn't even go. It's already too crowded as it is...

  • Dojomeat

    Posted Jun 10, 2011 12:48 am GMT

    I am surprised to see such low numbers, i would have thought such an awesome event as E3 would draw a crowd of 100,000+ especially considering its in America.

    In a few comments people mention "open to the public" is this event only for Journos and writers and people in the industry or it is open to the public but you have to pay a entry fee? There is a car show in Australia every year and even with a $30 entry fee it brings in around 20-30,000 every year.

  • m3g4t0ky0

    Posted Jun 9, 2011 11:08 pm GMT

    @soulless4now You're welcome.