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E3 2016 attendance down slightly, E3 2017 dated

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Nintendo E3 2016 booth photo (Poly wm) 1600
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

With E3 2016 about to close its doors, the show’s organizers totaled up the numbers and tallied more than 50,300 attendees for the three-day convention, the Entertainment Software Association announced today.

That’s down 3.6 percent from E3 2015, when over 52,200 people went to the show. That was the first time in a decade that E3 attendance topped 50,000. Major publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision bowed out of the E3 show floor this year — EA held its own off-site event, EA Play, while Activision gave up its spot on the show floor and only took appointments in meeting rooms.

This year, the ESA also held the first-ever E3 Live, a free event at L.A. Live that was open to the public. Attendance for E3 Live, which also ran from June 14-16, totaled 20,000.

"Gamers were the winners at E3 this year. The advancements in technology unveiled at E3 will redefine entertainment for the world," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, in a press release. "The innovation and creativity on display will propel our industry to new heights and expand opportunities for remarkable growth."

The ESA, which runs E3, is a trade body that represents the U.S. video game industry. The organization also announced the dates for next year’s show: E3 2017 will be held June 13-15, 2017, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For more on how the future of E3, check out our report on how the show is evolving.