Whether you were lucky enough to attend E3 2019 as part of your job or had enough money to buy the three-day “Gamer pass” to attend E3 this year, we bet you absolutely did not regret ‘risking it’ by attending the first-ever E3 where Sony’s PlayStation was not present. It’s been a couple of years since E3’s tickets started being sold to the general public and this has changed the business-focused event to a more “gaming convention” type of event where gaming fans and press are hungry and hunting for the latest news in the industry of gaming. This focus shift might be the reason why Sony dropped out of the event in 2019, but, the question remains: “Will Sony stop coming to E3 for the foreseeable future?” Fans certainly hope not, as getting into E3 is as expensive as getting the latest gaming console, if not more.
However, the colossal PlayStation not being in the event did not stop the 66,100 video game enthusiasts from all over the world from attending this huge event. Every single video game website, hundreds of streamers and media influencers were present at E3 2019, all trying to get the latest information of their preferred games out to the world as soon as they could during the first hours of the show. Surely you have read all there is to know about the games present at E3 2019, but have you read about the experience of the event itself? That’s where Honey’s Anime comes in. Whether you’re just curious about how the event is off-camera or you’re looking for information to attend future E3 events yourself, we’re here to help you imagine the experience of attending the E3 show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.
|When it Established||May 11–13, 1995 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.|
|Length of Event||3 Daysー June 11 to June 13|
|PLACE/LOCATION||Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California|
|COST|| Three-day “Gamer Pass” badge $149 to $249 (General public)|
On-site “Gamer Pass” badge $995 (General public)
|HOTELS||For those thinking out of the box and opting for an Airbnb instead of a costly hotel in L.A, it was easy to find accommodation for as low as $50 per night or up to $130 per night for a luxurious apartment in Downtown L.A, all within a 30 minute or less walking distance from Los Angeles Convention Center.|
COMPANY/EVENT MESSAGE FOR FANS/ATTENDEES
“E3 is the world’s premier event for computer and video games and related products. At E3, the video game industry’s top talent pack the Los Angeles Convention Center, connecting tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry. For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies, and never-before-seen products will be showcased. E3 connects you with both new and existing partners, industry executives, gamers, and social influencers providing unprecedented exposure to the entire video game industry, all under one roof.”
What to Expect
Unlike the E3 you see on Twitch, Youtube and other streaming platforms every year, E3 as a convention-type event is unimaginably different. No, you will not meet your favorite game developer in person and you will absolutely not be able to find any hot information to “leak” about any game there, but one thing you can definitely look forward to is playing some big title games long before their release date... if you can wait in line for over three hours, that is.
Don’t expect to attend any of those neat interviews or conference rooms you see during E3 live in Twitch or other streaming services as those are invite only for a pre-selected few within the video game industry. What you *can* expect, however, is experiencing more than boring ‘ol conferences, as a lot of companies go big on game attractions that are not exactly video games; for example, on the Nintendo corner, if you were brave enough you could try their rock climbing challenge, a hands-on experience they were using to promote their newest Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
Nintendo’s idea of including something “extra” other than video games was good but not as great as what Fortnite envisioned to bring their fans the ultimate entertainment during E3 2019. From a gigantic inflatable trampoline featuring the “Jump Royale” challenge to dancing, Fortnite’s corner was absolutely stealing the show at E3. Having the flashiest display and the most interactive and fun-looking attractions at E3, it’s safe to say Fortnite went all out showing how fun this game and it’s community can be; they will absolutely see a huge increase of new players joining Fortnite during and after the show!
Lastly, something to expect from E3 is a LOT of people… but great people with the same interests. Trying out games at E3 can be tedious because of the 1+ hours waiting queue on a line, but it’s a great time to connect to other gamers that have your same interests in games. Other than your average gamers, you can always look forward to meeting the cosplayer community; although the summer heat might have reduced the number of cosplayers you’d expect at this type of event, some still showed off their costumes, like the mandatory Cloud, Aerith and Tifa cosplayers. Other people you might be lucky to bump into during E3 2019 public floor show were internet celebrity Greg Miller and Hollywood star Jack Black. Are you even more hyped to join E3 2020 or what!?
What to bring?
A bag filled with necessities.
The last thing you would expect you’d need to fully enjoy an event like E3 is strategic planning. First thing’s first, you absolutely need a comfortable bag, handbag or purse that complies with E3’s Safety and Security regulations. These regulations specify that no backpacks nor any bags over 12” x 15” x 6” were allowed inside the venue, but carrying a small gym bag was perfectly ok.
In your bag, we strongly recommend that you include at least two bottles of water, even if you do not feel thirsty, it’s important to stay hydrated and drink up; on the venue, there are a few water fountains where you can refill your bottle for free, but it’s best to have an extra backup in case you’re stuck in the middle of a long line. Another important item in your bag prep will be hand towels, wet wipes or napkins… E3 is held during the early summer, and South California can get pretty hot, even while inside an air-conditioned venue, be ready to wipe some sweat off! Oh- and if you have long hair, make sure to bring hair ties, you’ll thank us later. Another handy prep you could put in your bag is a small hand sanitizer, as everyone will be sharing the same keyboards, mouse, and controllers during E3 game trials… and well, you don’t know where everyone’s hands have been.
A very important prep to include in your bag will be munchies and snacks, yeah, they definitely let you in with food at the venue as long as it’s a reasonable amount; if you want to go into budget mode, then we also recommend packing at least two “bento box” to eat during the event. Almost as important as food, we strongly recommend bringing the most comfortable walking shoes you own, and add support insoles to them; as lame and unfashionable as it sounds, you’ll be walking a very long time, take care of yourself!
Besides self-care stuff, other super handy things you can bring to E3 in your bag will be an ID holder, as every time you go out of the venue or even whilst changing between South and West halls, you’ll need to show your ID to the coliseum staff at the door -even if- you are wearing your E3 pass around your neck. Absolutely make sure you buy and bring an external battery pack (or two) for your phone, camera, tablet, laptop or other devices—you will 100% need it. Being at E3 is exciting enough, but showing off and bragging that you are there to your friends, uploading dozens of pictures by the minute to your social media, is a little-bad deed we all enjoyed doing. Don’t be surprised if your device is already at 50% charge just one hour into the event! Another neat gadget you won’t regret placing in your bag will be a selfie stick, whether it’s used for actual selfies or to get a better picture of a display with everyone’s heads out of the frame. Lastly, something that sounds annoying to deal with but ultimately worth to bring is a portable folding stool, even if it’s a tiny one… you won’t regret it once you’ve been in line for two hours.
Although all these preps seem like a hassle to hold, at least some companies like Square Enix were handing out bigger handbags inside so you can carry things more comfortably - at least for the day.
Regarding money, it’s probably best to bring your debit or credit card. Absolutely every stall accepts the swipe of your cards, just keep an eye on your bank account! Resisting to buy every collectible and E3 exclusive is near-impossible, even if most of them seem a little too expensive.
What to Do While There/What is Available
The strategic planning we mentioned earlier will come in handy not only for your bags but for the entire event. If you prepared, ordered and registered your E3 pass early on, you probably thought it was a good idea to get the official E3 app on your phone and check out the venue’s map. Another thing you probably thought of was informing yourself on what companies and games will be showing up at E3 2019. If you did so, you probably have specific game booths you wanted to visit, right? Well, for your future endeavors, when you get there you have to make the tough decision on what to visit first during the opening of each day because you will probably only have the time to play one demo, or two if you are patient enough.
During E3 2019 we had big game titles with playable demos, like Pokemon Sword and Shield, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3, Marvel's Avengers, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, FFVII Remake, FFXIV: Shadowbringers, Borderlands 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. As cool as “trying out FF7 first, then going to see what the new Pokemon has to offer” sounds, you will completely miss out on one of the two if you are aiming for them on the same day. As soon as the doors open, you have to make a commitment into staying for over two hours in line or sacrifice playing your beloved game to enjoy the rest of E3, the more you dwell over it, the longer the line gets… and yes, they can reach maximum capacity for the day. One of the longest lines were for Pokemon Sword and Shield, even though the game is coming out this year, the fans were willing to wait in line for over 4 hours, or used their previously-obtained “Warp Pipe Pass” to get their hands on the new Dynamax battles.
If you think waiting 4 hours in a queue for a Nintendo game was crazy, you could stand in line for more with other games but most are organized and have quick presentations to show large groups simultaneously. For instance, the presentation of Cyberpunk 2077 you would get to hear some of the latest news for the game as well as see some actual gameplay… but… it was probably pre-recorded on a screen. You never know what companies will show you, so it is up to you to decide if that was worth the wait. Other things you could try out with a 2hr wait (if you arrived early) like the Avengers booth, the Lego Star Wars booth, Borderlands 3 booth, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot game trial and the trial of Dragon Quest Builders 2 at the Square Enix Booth.
To experience the best of E3, the best waiting in line options were those games with a 1:30hrs or less queue. Games you could enjoy playing every hour-or-so were Fortnite, Nintendo’s Olympic Games, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Titania Challenge and the augmented reality of E3’s The Unreal Garden. But, if you absolutely hate waiting, E3 offered some entertainment you could enjoy within 30 minutes, like Crash Bandicoot racing remake, XSEED Games booth where you could try Senran Kagura Peach Ball or Granblue Fantasy Versus, play Persona 5 Royale and Persona Q2, sit and relax playing GranBlue Fantasy Versus or just casually bump into the trial of Kill la Kill - IF, a month before it’s release in the west.
Some other game related things you could do with 30 minutes or less (each) were visiting various picture booths; take a picture riding Cloud’s Bike at FFVII picture booth, show off your Fatality at Mortal Kombat 11 booth, strike a fighting pose at Granblue Fantasy Versus picture booth, take a selfie with your favorite Gen 8 Pokemon starter at Nintendo booth, show no fear posing next to a dragon at Monster Hunter World Iceborn’s picture booth or show off your battle stance at the Borderlands 3 photo booth.
E3 image 16 Dragon
Exhibits / Booths
Standing with no fear next to titan game titles we found a wide collection of indie games and mobile games to try out, some of them including special little gifts to hand out if you tried them! Another big sight other than video games we encountered at E3 were arcade machines, and yes, although these are video games, the main focus was not the game itself, but the fact that you could -actually buy- a retro arcade machine for your house. Tiny ones, full-sized arcade cabinets, wall mounted and even table-style arcade machines were up for display (and sale!) during E3, one of the most outstanding collections belonging to the company Arcade1UP.
To keep you energized during the show, BANG energy drinks had a big and energetic booth going on at E3 2019, where you not only got free energy drinks but could participate in dancing on stage to challenging fellow gamers to a match of Mario Kart.
A lot of booths offering merch catering to gamers were present during E3 this year; high-end gaming computers, gaming chairs, custom controllers, accessories to expand your VR experience, eye-catching PC cases, gaming apparel, toy collectibles, mystery loot boxes and more; anything any gamer could dream of buying, you could find at this year’s E3.
As a gamer, it’s worth the money to attend E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center at least once in your life (maybe not so much if you pay $995 on-site, though). The hype of being actually there all three days will ease the pain in your wallet; being able to experience gameplays of big game titles that you have been waiting for years to see, or being able to try the latest things the gaming world has to offer is definitely an exciting experience. Although during the first day, the massive size of the venue and the even bigger crowd might seem overwhelming, but on the second and third days you’ll start getting the hang of it and be able to relax and target the booths you couldn't during your first visit.
With the increasing popularity of the show every year, three days might not be enough to try everything E3 has to offer, so we can only pray that they extend the event to an entire week in the future. Days before the event, conferences were being streamed and recorded, only adding to the hype of those attending the show during the coming days. But some conferences were being held at the same time as the E3 show this year, making it almost impossible to watch the live stream and also enjoy the activities inside the venue. As an attendee, it was hard to keep up with all the news being released, as there was a lot of information flowing non-stop from every direction; being especially challenging for those in the media field to spread the information in a timely manner.
All that’s left to say is thank you to all those people following Honey’s Anime field reports, hopefully, this report helps you prepare for your own visit to E3 next year and we’d love very much to meet you there on June 9 to 11 during E3’s 2020 show.