E3 2013: Ouya Parking Lot Conflict, Cops Called Out [Report]

Sparks continue to fly between ES 2013 organizers and the good folks at Ouya who set up shop in the parking lot. At the peak of the brouhaha on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department was called out to investigate Ouya’s unofficial booth across the street from the official ESA event being held in the Los Angeles Convention center.

As Ouya had announced in late May, the Android microconsole makers decided to host a three day event showcasing their work. The Kickstarter funded company claimed that they wanted to circumvent the industry-focused nature of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) event by refusing to rent space inside.

Kellee Santiago, Ouya head of developer relations, said at the time, “You’ll be able to demo your games to media, E3 2013 attendees and random people on the street who want to see what all the buzz is about. We’re going all out to ensure we get the best equipment, and we’re also engineering it with the elements of an outside location in mind.”

That’s all well and good, but where I come from it’s usually considered pretty unethical to cheat a big event’s organizers by keeping the booth fees in your pocket and holding your own sale or demonstration in the parking lot.

On the craft show circuit, they’ll just call security and if you don’t leave, it’s time for the police to ticket you and haul you off. But I guess it’s more complicated in the wild west game console development world.

ESA responded by renting the space directly in front of the proposed Ouya booth and parking a couple of semi-trailer trucks around it to block the convention attendees’ view of Ouya’s unusual location.

Ouya responded by renting the space around the trucks and hanging banners to direct people to their spot.

ESA then called LAPD. According to Ouya founder Julie Uhrman, the police officers checked her permits and then agreed that she was legal to keep the booth in that location.

It’s over to you guys at E3 2013, but I’d say that apparently Ouya actually does have permits and/or you guys didn’t pay off the right people to protect your convention in the first place.

What are your thoughts on the E3 2013 Ouya parking lot scuffle?

[ouya pinball game photo courtesy Ouya]