For the first time since the start of E3 in 1995, Electronic Arts will not have a presence on the E3 showfloor. Instead, the company is launching its new EA Play event, which will run in the days prior to E3 and will allow the public to come and play games from EA's upcoming lineup.
While E3 kicks off on June 14, EA Play will launch on June 12 in Los Angeles and London. EA will hold its yearly conference at 1PM PT before letting attendees have some hands-on time with the games on show. In London, EA Play will be a one day affair, but the Los Angeles event will run until June 14, the first day of E3 proper.
In a statement sent to us, an EA representative offered some added detail:
We are taking our commitment to put our players first further this year by creating a play experience built around them. Hosting our own event allows us to connect directly with our players and create a meaningful experience for them. In Los Angeles, our players will have access to the games on Monday. 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.
The statement also confirmed for us that the company has indeed "released their booth in the South Hall" of the LA Convention Center (though they will still be taking private press meetings at E3 proper). As past E3 attendees can tell you, this booth has been one of the largest on-site for years, so I'm curious what company (if any) will step up to take that space.