E3, we hardly knew ye. The Entertainment Software Association, the industry organization for video-game companies, announced Monday that it plans to scale back the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the massive annual industry trade show better known as E3. Essentially, under the ESA's plan, E3 as it's been known will be no more. Instead of a show that has dominated the Los Angeles Convention Center with huge booths, vibrant displays and noise, noise, noise for nearly a week each May, the organization would substitute a smaller, low-key affair with some press events and meetings for various industry players. The changes will kick in for the next iteration of E3, which was originally scheduled for May. The statement gave little explanation for the change or details about the new event, other than that the industry has evolved. "Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences," ESA President Douglas Lowenstein said in a statement. ESA representatives were not immediately available for comment. Earlier on Monday and over the weekend, rumors bubbled on the Internet about the impending change. According to several published reports, the major games publishers were threatening to pull out of E3, arguing that it no longer was a cost-effective venue. Representatives for Electronic Arts ( ERTS), THQ ( THQI), Midway Games ( MWY), Activision ( ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO) did not return calls seeking comment Monday. The video-game companies have typically used E3 to introduce or show off new games and new game systems. Gamers got their first chance to try out both Sony's ( SNE) PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, two soon-to-be released video game consoles, at
this year's event . It remains to be seen how successful E3 will be in its new form. Part of the draw of E3 has been the sheer spectacle of it. The show also served as a massive meeting place for industry insiders. Other tech industry trade shows, most notably Comdex, died off after they lost industry support.