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CEA won't create a videogame confab

Turns out E3 isn’t getting a big competitor after all.

Consumer Electronics Assn., the trade org behind the annual CES show, has abandoned plans to stage a videogame confab that would go up against E3 next year.

CEA’s previous decision to consider organizing an E3 competitor was spurred by an announcement from Entertainment Software Assn., which organizes E3, that its event will be significantly smaller next year.

However, ESA on Monday disclosed full details for next year’s E3, and it turns out it won’t be as small as many had feared. Confab will be held in July at Barker Hangar and surrounding hotels in Santa Monica.

Publishers will be allowed to showcase games at Barker Hangar, but only in exhibits under 400 square feet, thus eliminating the massive and expensive booths put up by big companies like Microsoft and Electronic Arts at past E3 events.

Meetings will be held at hotel suites, while press conferences are expected to be at other locations.

Though it will be invitation-only and significantly smaller than the 60,000 attendees who came to E3 this year, it will be open to non-ESA members, thus eliminating the worries of many indie developers that they would not be invited.

“Although CEA was prepared to launch a new event, the recent announcement by ESA that it would open its event to both ESA and non-ESA members and would include PC and wireless gaming led us to conclude that a new spring West Coast event would likely not serve the best needs of the industry,” Karen Chupka, CEA senior veep of events and conferences, said in a statement.

Org is still considering a vidgame show for 2008, however.

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