For the first time ever, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will be opening its doors to the public this year. Traditionally an industry-only event, 15,000 tickets will this year go on sale to consumers from Monday 13 February.

The first thousand tickets will be sold for an early bird price of $149 (£119) while regular tickets will cost $249 (£198). Tickets will offer fans access to the show floor, panel discussions and other events at E3, which takes place 13-15 June.

Although these tickets are not all-access passes, ticket-holders will be among the first to play the show's games and try out new equipment demoed at the event.

Gamespot reports that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which runs the event, will also work with Geoff Keighley to open up special events to attendees as well, including his own E3 programming and developer interviews among others.

According to the ESA, the event "will still have a central media and business component" including a dedicated entrance and VIP business lounge. More details on these events will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Last year, the ESA hosted its free E3 Live sideshow that was open to the general public and located outside of the LA Convention Center where E3 takes place. They have experimented with limited public access in the past as well by inviting thousands of "prosumers" to E3 2015 and 2016.

Gaming personalities, YouTubers, social media influencers and live-streaming gaming celebrities have also been invited to previous events.

ESA senior VP of communications Rich Taylor told GameSpot that there was "incredible attendee enthusiasm" for the event.

"The feedback we heard was clear - they wanted to play the games inside the convention center. In addition, exhibitors inside the convention center wanted to have access to the fans. So this year we're bringing the two together," Taylor said.

"It's a changing industry, and E3 has always evolved to meet industry needs and anticipate where we're heading together--as an event, as an industry, and as fans. The decision to open our doors to 15,000 fans was a strategic decision."

In recent years, many gaming giants such as EA, Activision and Nintendo have made the decision to skip E3 and drop show floor booths in favour of their own individual events. Meanwhile, other major gaming shows such as Gamescom and PAX are open to the public.

Taylor says the E3 continues to face "the relevancy question" every year.

"I think there are those who always enjoy questioning those at the top of the leaderboard," he said. "E3 has a reputation around the world as the place where video game hardware and software launches happen. Last year, E3 generated more than 65 billion media impressions around the globe. That doesn't happen accidentally, and it's a testament to E3's strength, its connection to the fans, and the event's position in the industry."

E3 tickets are set to go on sale at 5pm GMT on Monday 13 February on the event's official website. E3 2017 will take place in Los Angeles from 13-15 June.