The splashiest showcase at the Electronic Entertainment Expo may not be inside the Los Angeles Convention Center after all.
That is, at least, if Doritos gets its way. Yes, the maker of cheesy tortilla chips is looking to upstage North America’s largest video game trade show.
How? By erecting a six-story fully functioning arcade game smack in the middle of Staples Center and L.A. Live.
And the interactive behemoth — dubbed Doritos Mix Arcade — will double as, among other things, a concert venue with three nights of shows.
Steve Aoki, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi and Empire of the Sun are among the acts headlining the shows, organizers revealed to the Los Angeles Times. The concerts are set for June 14-16.
A dozen acts have been booked. DJ Jazzy Jeff, Zane Lowe, Peanut Butter Wolf, Mix Master Mike, DJ Hapa, Induce and the Bold Orchestra, a nontraditional orchestra made up of a mix of instruments and performers and likely named after the snack’s tagline, complete the roster.
Though the concerts are open only to attendees of E3 and E3 Live, the installation will be open to the public during the day. The concerts will be live streamed.
Aside from the stage, the venue will house a 30-by-32-foot LED gaming screen, which will feature live arcade game play during the day and concert visuals at night — and the arcade game will have a six-foot joystick.
Part of the venue will house an actual retro — and normal size — arcade room, with games, a lounge area, demo stations and plenty of Doritos.
This isn’t the first time Doritos, a brand of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, has pulled off a gigantic activation that intersected music, tech and product placement.
At South by Southwest a few years back, the company hosted performances on a giant, inflatable venue meant to resemble a vending machine. That installation was widely mocked but made a strong statement about the relationship between pop music and corporate brands.