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ESA Criticized for Apparent Lack of Security at E3 2017, Organizer Says Security Is Its Prime Concern

Security has become a major issue as of late, especially in crowded public places. Just last month, a man with four guns and a knife, who intended to kill police officers and a performer, was arrested at the Phoenix Comicon, prompting officials to increase screening. It’s therefore no surprise that E3 2017 attendees expected heightened security at the event but going by quite a few accounts posted online, it looks like there were some lapses in this respect that ESA was unaware of.

Developer Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (Nuclear Throne, Luftrausers) dedicated a detailed blog post to the issue, stating that he succeeded in entering the event each day without a badge and his backpack was never checked for contents.

For every single day of the event, which was secured by private security contractors, I’ve tried to walk into the building from the street outside to the showfloor without wearing my badge. I succeeded every single time, over the period of three days, and every time I was carrying a backpack that was never checked for its contents. It would be trivial for someone to bring any sort of weapon to the event, and security would not be able to react fast enough in the hall to prevent anything from happening.

Ismail wrote that the influx of 15,000 members of the public for the first time in the event’s history also posed problems as chaos ensued. “Between a brawl, some instances of people being pushed over during opening, enormous queues, and booths having to adjust for the audience mid-show, the chaos was palpable more than once,” he explained.

Polygon points us towards an Imgur post in which two men detail how they were able to easily sneak into the event without passes. The duo have photos to prove that they were at the event but we can’t verify whether they actually went in without passes or not.

Regardless, quite a few people discussed the apparent lack of security on social media so those mentioned in this article weren’t the only ones highlighting the issue.

For its part, ESA has told Polygon that security is its prime concern and that the event was a “success” in this regard.

There were more than 68,000 people in the convention center and minimal issues. This was due entirely to outstanding fans, well-trained guards and personnel, and excellent communication with our members and exhibitors.

It’s unclear if E3 will be open to the public next year but we do know that ESA is considering a change of location.

[Source: Rami Ismail, Imgur via Polygon]