The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced last month that it would be hosting its first-ever gathering for the gaming community alongside this year’s E3 conference. Dubbed E3 Live, the event promised attendees the opportunity to play new games, compete in various competitions, interact with developers and more but in the end, it was a total flop.

E3 Live, which ran from June 14 through the 16th, was a ticketed event although admission was free. The ESA gave away more than 20,000 tickets within the first 24 hours following its announcement but as Game Industry Biz’s James Brightman notes, that doesn’t excuse just how poor the event really was.

Brightman said he spent roughly an hour at E3 Live and genuinely questioned whether or not he was in the right place upon arrival. The space was roughly the size of two tennis courts and was filled with a few tents, barely any games and plenty of booths selling merchandise.

Attendees were just as – if not, more – disappointed. Jose, who attended the event with his son, said he expected a lot of demos but all he saw was the Lego Dimensions demo and some VR stuff – something he isn’t even interested in. When asked if he thought he got an E3 experience, he said it wasn’t even close and that he was really disappointed.

Another fan, Malcom, said he wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but conceded that there wasn’t much there. He added that it’s free so he knew he wouldn’t get much but still expected something.

Brightman concluded that organizers run the risk of turning off gamers with such a poor event. The silver lining, however, is that tickets went fast which indicates demand is there for a fan event. If the ESA were to sell tickets instead of give them away, they could generate a healthy revenue stream and have the funding to justify a better event.

Images courtesy Games Industry Biz