In its fortieth year, the San Diego Comic-Con International -- which long ago expanded to host far more than just its namesake -- has become so popular that attendance is now artificially capped at 125,000 by the fire marshals.
The show now serves as a hub for pop culture in general, particularly genre fiction, across comics, television, film, novels, and video games. In increasing numbers, major game publishers are showing up, including major publishers Electronic Arts and Activision, MMO specialists Sony Online Entertainment and NCsoft, indies The Behemoth and Telltale Games, and numerous others.
Gamasutra spoke with representatives from nearly all attending developers about their opinions on the show. Various topics were discussed, but all agreed on one point: With E3 trying to cement its trade show status, even as it returns to its higher-budget tradition of old, consumer events like Comic-Con -- and upstarts like Penny Arcade Expo -- are crucial.