Devolver Digital says it lost US$100,000 when its plans to hold a festival opposite E3 were undermined by E3 organiser the Entertainment Software Association.
During E3, Devolver usually hires a parking lot across from the Los Angeles Convention Centre, one section back from the road.
The lot between Devolver's setup and E3 itself is usually hired by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which parks truck trailers there. The ESA claims it uses the lot for storage, while Devolver claims that the ESA is simply trying to create a sight barrier between E3 and Devolver's setup.
As Polygon reports, this year Devolver managed to hire both lots, and planned to use its now-unobstructed view of E3 to pull as many E3-goers as possible across the road to check out its games.
However, the second lot it hired is owned by the City of Los Angeles, and when they learned what Devolver had planned, City officials denied it all permits except for vehicle parking.
According to Devolver co-founder Mike Wilson, the ESA applied pressure on the city to shut Devolver down.
"[The city] assigned us a special asshole to make sure we did not do one thing," said Wilson.
"E3 does not like us being here. We've always had a long-standing love-hate relationship. But not in a fuck-with-us kinda way, until this year.
"They just started making trouble for us with the City, saying, 'How dare you rent this space out to these renegades, blah, blah, blah’," he added.
"Obviously, they have a lot of sway with the city. Phone calls were made and threats. We were being bullied."
Large companies like EA and Activision hold large off-site events during E3, but they are ESA members and thus make contributions to the trade body's coffers.
An ESA spokesperson denied the allegation, and said the ESA hadn't contacted the City about Devolver.