The organizers of E3 announce that this year’s event will be open to the public, with an allocation of 15,000 tickets set to go on sale next Monday.

Video game fans know E3 as the biggest event of the year in terms of surprise reveals and sneak previews of upcoming releases. This year, the expo is opening its doors to the public, meaning that anyone can attend — as long as they’re lucky enough to snag one of 15,000 tickets that are being made available next Monday.

Event organizers at the Entertainment Software Association made the big announcement earlier today, according to a report from Gamespot. Tickets will give attendees access to the show floor, panel discussions, and more when E3 takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center between June 13 and June 15.

E3 made its debut in 1995, having been organized in response to the underwhelming treatment exhibitors had experience at tech shows without a gaming focus. 50,000 people attended the inaugural expo, which swelled to a reported attendance of 70,000 in 1998.

This year’s event marks the first time that the public have been granted access to E3 proper, as attendance has traditionally been limited to industry representatives and press. However, last year a sister event called E3 Live was held just a few blocks away from the real deal, giving the masses a chance to preview upcoming games.

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The ESA’s decision to open E3 up to the public speaks volumes about the event’s status as of 2017. It was once an essential component of the promotional campaign for any major release, but today there are plenty of events that developers can attend to spread the word about their game.

Fans will no doubt relish the opportunity to experience E3, but it remains to be seen whether their presence will cause problems for people attending the event in a professional capacity. The majority of people who go to E3 aren’t there for fun; they’re either trying to promote their game, or report upon upcoming releases.

This could be the first step toward E3 transitioning from an industry event to a fan expo. While the likes of the Penny Arcade Expo and the PlayStation Experience already serve this purpose, E3 has a lot of name recognition among gamers, and would likely be able to carve out its own niche.

Tickets to E3 2017 will cost $250, and are good for the entirety of the three-day event. Anyone eager to book their ticket as soon as possible can save a bit of money in the process, as the price will be capped at $150 thanks to an early bird discount set to run on Monday, February 13.

E3 2017 is scheduled to take place between June 13 and June 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

tags: E3, E3 2017