Electronic Arts to Ditch E3 for Separate EA Play Event

In one of the boldest industry moves in recent memory, Electronic Arts announced today that it is pulling out of the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) almost completely this year and setting up its own E3 of sorts with EA Play.

EA will forgo its usual bombastic presence at E3 in favor of something more stripped-down and, most importantly, accessible to the general public. “Our players are the driving force behind everything we do,” says the company through a webpage promoting EA Play. “So this summer, we’re opening up our world to you with unique new live events in Los Angeles and London.”

EA Play, scheduled from June 12 – 14, represents a bold move for the company as it minimizes its presence at the annual games expo to private meetings with industry members. It essentially removes EA’s E3 booth from the L.A. Convention Center and relocates it a block away at Club Nokia. There, gamers and the general public will be able to try out game demos, witness interviews with various special guests, compete against each other, and partake in other activities that have typically been reserved for pre-approved, badge-wearing members of the games industry and the press.

The company’s annual opening day press event will also preempt E3 (scheduled June 14 – 16) and its industry competitors as it is scheduled for June 12. Moving the big announcement to a Sunday is risky but it will give the company a two-day headstart on the competition. EA will release tickets to the event online and will also broadcast segments of the event via livestream.