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Electronic Arts abandons E3 2016 for ‘EA Play’ event

Electronic Arts will move a large portion of its E3 2016 events and demonstrations to an independent, fan convention in Los Angeles called EA Play, the publisher announced Wednesday.

The three-day show will run from June 12-14 at Club Nokia, part of the LA Live entertainment complex adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center where E3 is held. The publisher will also hold a one-day event in London on June 12. The publisher will take closed-door meetings in a conference room at the LA Convention Center, but will not operate a booth on the show floor.

The publisher will hold a “keynote” for the press on the first day of “Play,” June 12 at 1 p.m. PT. Large game publishers have traditionally held a set of independent press conferences the day before E3, which falls on Monday, June 13, this year.

EA’s decision to move its presence off-site is the latest, and debatably largest, step in a bigger trend of game publishers eschewing industry-wide trade shows and spreading out announcements over a wider range of events, which often address the public rather than investors or the press. Many publishers have started holding public-facing fan conventions, such as Sony’s PlayStation Experience, while others have taken to revealing their information directly to the public through presentations, such as Nintendo’s “Direct” live-streams, and live demos on services such as Twitch.

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“Our players will have access to the games on Monday,” an EA representative told Polygon. “We will open up the event to the industry on Tuesday, allowing those who are in town for E3 to see our games and join the experience.”

EA has revealed very little about what products and events it plans to hold at EA Play. According to the event’s website, players will be able to “go hands-on” with new games, including some of the publisher’s “biggest games of the year.” The publisher will also host a series of live-streams to show games to the general public. Fans looking more information on EA Play, including pricing and ticket information, can sign up for the EA Play newsletter on the company’s website.