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Electronic Arts leaves E3 2016 show floor in favor of fan-oriented 'EA Play' event (update)

News conference moves to Sunday before E3 2016

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Electronic Arts today announced major changes for its presence at E3 2016, and will stage events off-site that are more accessible to fans. In return, it won't have a booth at this year's expo.

EA has announced EA Play, a three-day off-site event at Club Nokia near the Los Angeles Convention Center that will be open to the public. It will run June 12 (a Sunday) to June 14. A companion event will also be held in London on June 12.

Further, EA will move its regular pre-E3 keynote to the Sunday preceding E3 — June 12 at 1 p.m. PT. EA had long been part of the Monday rotation of news conferences.

An Electronic Arts representative told Polygon that EA will host private business meetings in a conference room at the L.A. Convention Center but said, "We have released our booth in the South Hall."

Reached for comment, a representative of the Entertainment Software Association, which stages E3, said:

EA's player experience underscores E3 as the global launchpad for video game news, announcements, and excitement. As always, we continue to look forward to their contributions to E3 week and can't wait to play the games ourselves.

EA's floor space had been among the largest of the exhibitors at E3, dominating the entrance to South Hall for several years. It remains to be seen who will take its booth space, and also who will occupy the Monday slot of pre-E3 conferences.

EA says more details will be shared later about how to attend EA Play in person. Tickets will have to be reserved in advance, but "we are not charging a fee to attend," an EA rep told Polygon.

The representative added that attendees will get a crack at EA's playable offerings before industry and the press at E3 2016. "Our players will have access to the games on Monday," the rep said. "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."

Update: Ticket registration will open to the public on May 26 at 8 a.m. PT, EA announced.

You can listen to this story — and many more — in the episode of Polygon's daily news podcast, Minimap, below.

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