"If we hadn't second-guessed everything, worked really hard, and gotten clever it would have been about $300,000 - $500,000, but the necessity to put on a good show and the lack of funds forced us to think cleverly and work hard to make it happen on the cheap," Semiformal Studios Director Ian Kinsey tells me. "I'm confident we had the cheapest price per square foot (when you factor in all costs) of all the decently interactive booths at E3."
The space itself cost $30,000 – 600 square feet is the smallest space offered – and that doesn't factor in the actual booth itself. For its construction, Kinsey got quotes from dozens of booth and expo designers, even museum exhibit companies, that ranged from $80,000 to $250,000, just for a standard design, no frills.
"Some companies literally told us that the reason for the cost was simply, 'If you want an E3 booth, you have to pay E3 prices,'" Kinsey says. "Even some of the non-E3 expo makers, like the museum designers, gave that as their reason."