Nintendo at E3 2012 (Credit: Getty Images)After weeks of uncertainty, the video game industry finally knows where the next E3 will be held.
The Entertainment Software Association (which owns E3) and the City of Los Angeles have settled their differences and signed a deal that calls for the video game's premiere trade show to be held in the city for the next three years.
E3 2013, which is expected to see the introduction of new console systems from Microsoft and Sony, will be held June 11-13.
The chief concern for the ESA was the pending construction of the new Farmers Field stadium, which will mean the demolition of the West Hall of the LACC and the elimination of 210,000 square feet of show floor space -- roughly one-third of the Center's capacity.
ESA officials say they have been assured by the city and AEG (developers of the new stadium and owners of the LACC) that the West Hall will still be operational for next year's show and attendees will not be inconvenienced. Demolition is expected to begin soon after E3 closes.
AEG also says a new LACC hall will be open and functioning for the 2014 show. Still, given how construction deadlines can sometimes slip, ESA officials say they have contingency plans (which they declined to detail) in place in case that hall isn't ready.
"What we have assurances about is that there will be the exact same amount of space — or more — at the new facilities," says ESA spokesperson Dan Hewitt. "We're working with people who have experience in construction and building. We're confidant AEG is going to stay on schedule. [But] we are working with the LACC and AEG and have plans built in for all contingencies."
E3 has called the LACC home for 15 of its 18 years. In 1997 and 1998, E3 moved to Atlanta as the LACC was being renovated to make room for the Staples Center. In 2007, the show was downsized and moved to a series of hotels in Santa Monica, a change that was widely panned by attendees and game companies.
"The City of Los Angeles is thrilled to welcome E3 back for another three years," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "My office was committed to doing whatever it took to keep the largest annual conference that the City hosts here for another three years. I personally joined in the negotiations, and we worked with all parties to ensure the needs of E3 would be met."