To recap, E3 drew more than 80,000 attendees in 2006, but big companies complained their costs were skyrocketing. The Entertainment Software Association, which sponsors the show, shifted the 2007 E3 event to Santa Monica and carved back attendance to 5,000, mostly journalists, in order to cover up some of the costs. This year, the show was held in the cavernous Los Angeles Convention Center, but the attendance did not resemble the 2006 showing at all. Instead only a mere 5,000 showed up to what had hoped to be the biggest gaming convention of 2008.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter comments on how E3 is "headed for extinction, unless the publishers and console manufacturers wake up to the fact that nobody cares about the show anymore."
"The show was small in scope, and the spectacle of E3 is dead. The Los Angeles Convention Center concourse was as quiet as a college library during summer, with little to attract media attention. The main game display area was similar in size to a school cafeteria (as compared to filling the entire convention center), and the "fireworks effect" of past shows was reserved for the evening parties."
"The lack of a spectacle will likely keep media away in the future, the lack of surprises will keep retailers away, and the lack of interaction with management will likely keep investors away. Without these three constituencies, the show will likely lose its relevance. We strongly believe that E3 should be held no later than early June (when companies can meet with investors and when some “secrets” have yet to be revealed), and believe that the spectacle should be restored by increasing the size of the show space."