New ESA plans nod towards a larger influencer presence at E3 2020

New ESA plans nod towards a larger influencer presence at E3 2020

The ESA is taking steps to restructure LA-based trade event E3. 

According to a report from GameDaily, the company aims to shift the focus of the event, creating a “fan, media, and influencer festival” in time for E3 2020.

The pitch was part of a proposal sent to members of the lobbying group. One part of the pitch discusses a heavier focus on paid deals involving celebrities and online influencers, with agencies such as UTA and CAA.

Examples of celebrity endorsement were detailed in the pitch, such as having players from the Los Angeles Lakers team playing a game live from the show floor. Gaming tournaments with actors was also suggested. 

Is this influence?

Influencers have been slowly creeping into the folds of trade shows over the last couple of years and it's no secret that the presence of creators is bringing new eyes and new opportunities to these kinds of events.

YouTubers, Twitch streamers and media personalities are brought in to host shows, interviews and live broadcasts through the duration of E3, particularly for audiences watching the show online.

Creators are being recruited on a wider scale too. Back in March during the Google Stadia reveal, Google brought in YouTube creator Matthew 'MatPat' Patrick alongside YouTube head of gaming Ryan Wyatt to discuss influencer opportunities with Stadia. 

And since his arrival onto streaming platform Mixer, top streamer Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins has become one of Microsoft's most powerful marketing tools. Blevins was given the opportunity to host the gameplay reveal for Gears 5, and he's also been plugging Minecraft frequently. 

As influencer marketing becomes a more natural component of the gaming space, it's likely that we'll continue to see digital personalities seep into the fabrics of trade shows and industry events like E3. Love them or hate them, they're here to stay. 


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.