Attendance for E3 2017 totaled 68,400, the Electronic Software Association confirmed today. The numbers were announced just a few short hours prior to the show-floor's closing on E3's third and final day, though pre-E3 media conferences began as early as the preceding Saturday this year. Attendance marked over a 30% increase compared to the event's previous year, largely due to an influx of attendees from the public.
A ticket for E3 2017 cost a steep $250, but that didn't prevent 15,000 public attendees from journeying to Los Angeles to experience the convention for themselves. While "Fan Passes" officially sold out month ago, "On-Site Passes" were still available prior to the event for a costly $995. Needless to say, the decision to allow the public to attend E3 this year has proved a profitable one for the Electronic Software Association - at least compared to previous years.
Despite the increased attendance due to 15,000 ticket purchasers, the industry attendance increased only moderately. Subtracting 15,000 brings the number down to 53,400, not so much larger than the E3 2015 attendance of 52,200.
Even 2016's attendance, which was affected by the departure of Activision, Electronic Arts, Disney, and Wargaming as official participants, only dropped to 50,300. Activision would ultimately return to the show floor this year, clearly prioritizing the new wave of general admission attendees over the trade-show fare.
The message should be clear: although E3's future as a pure trade-show and press event began to fade in recent years, its new future as a standard general admission fan event began to take form in 2017. Acclimating to this first transitional year hasn't been smooth, with reports of hours-long lines and theft surfacing throughout the week, but there's little doubt things will change.
E3 2018 will likely be even larger (based on attendance) and should hopefully be a smoother experience for attendees. Whether or not that will mean industry and press lose favor in the event's eyes is yet to be determined.
Speaking of next year, the Electronic Software Association also took the opportunity to announce that E3 2018 will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center and will run from June 12 through the 14. Expect more information on when general admission tickets will go on sale, among other details, in the months to come. Until then, make sure to check out Game Rant's comprehensive coverage of the event by clicking on the image below.