For the past few years, there's been a tidy little black market operating around the fringes of E3 for those who wanted into the trade-only event but didn't have official tickets. That market is now under threat. Sorry!
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, held annually in Los Angeles, is in many ways the centre of the video game universe, as it's home to many of the year's big product reveals and company presentations. As such, there's no shortage of gamers who want into the event, giving them a chance to not only rub shoulders with their favourite developers but also get their hands on a ton of unreleased games.
What there is a shortage of, though, is tickets. E3 is only open to members of the industry and press, not the public, meaning to get in you either need to make games, sell them or write about them. To get around this, though, many small sites got wise to the potential for copying their tickets — which arrive early in the mail - and making a quick buck.
A report on Gamasutra found that people were paying as much as $700 for a ticket to the show, in some cases for an actual ticket, in other cases for a dodgy copy that wouldn't get them in.
To tighten up this loophole, the show's organisers will now be distributing press badges at the show itself, with initial entry to be gained via a barcode sent in an email. While it won't entirely eliminate that die-hard element willing to buy their way in, it should put a serious dent in their numbers.
Those wishing that E3 would just throw open its doors to the public like any other major show — like the Tokyo Game Show, Games Com or PAX — keep dreaming, as such a move won't be happening any time soon. If it ever happens at all.
Analysis: Behind The ESA's New E3 Media Rules [Gamasutra]