E3 2011: ESA head talks about the show and more

The head of the trade organization that owns the Electronic Entertainment Expo gave some interesting statistics about E3 itself in a new interview. Chatting with Venture Beat, Michael Gallagher, the head of the Entertainment Software Association, said that they are expecting about 45,000 attendees to come to the LA Convention Center to attend E3 2011. He added, "There are more than 35,000 video monitors that are going to be used at the show." That's close to one per attendee. He also said, "We will have five miles of duct tape on the show floor among all of the exhibitors. There will be 10 miles of extension cords. That gives you an idea of how big the show is."

Getting a bit more serious, Gallagher also talked about the game industry itself. One trend is the rise of small downloadable games for the PC, consoles and mobile phones, many of which are free or free to play online. Gallagher, however, doesn't see these games as a threat to the more traditional retail game titles, saying, "YouTube is not a threat to Lord of the Rings in the theater, right? YouTube is free, YouTube is quick, YouTube is easy. It satisfies an experience which obviously scores of millions of Americans enjoy everyday." He added that the game industry can also gain revenues from these downloadable games like micro-transactions, extra downloadable content and more.

One big issue currently looming over the games industry is the impending decision from the US Supreme Court over a California law that if approved would fine retailers if they sold games with violent content to children along with a separate labeling system for such games. The case has been around for years and two lower courts have ruled that the law is unconstitutional. Gallagher said, "Right now today there are four dates the court has identified as a possible announcement of its decision: next Monday and the following three Mondays after that. So we ready to go we have our response plan and all of the related activities that we would undertake to lead the industry’s response."

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