E3's Next Move as a Consumer Show: Merch

The Electronic Entertainment Expo takes another big step toward a public-facing show by letting exhibitors hock their wares.


During its lifespan E3 morphed slowly from a retailer-focused show to one more aimed at the press, and now it's progressively turning into a consumer show. That was clear when the yearly video game spectacle opened up public ticket sales, and now the organizers have announced another step necessary for any respectable consumer-facing show: merchandising!

In a note sent to E3 exhibitors, the show will allow products and merchandise to be sold directly on the show floor for the first time. Exhibitors are required to fill out a form and follow some procedural steps, but with those requirements met, booths can sell their wares just like any other consumer-facing show. We can likely expect to see publishers selling games, hardware companies selling their graphics cards or gaming laptops, and just about everyone selling t-shirts and other small tchotchkes.

The move is more at home this year than it would have been in prior ones, since the show is open to the public. Public attendees are still expected to be in the minority, though, as only 15,000 public tickets were made available, as compared to roughly 50,000 attendees on average over the last few years. We're not sure how the public tickets have been selling, but the E3 registration site still has them available for purchase, so they likely haven't sold out.

Shacknews will be an exhibitor at E3 this year, with livestreamed coverage throughout the show days. With this announcement, there is also a non-zero chance we will sell t-shirts with cute dogs on them.

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