E3 is Canceled & Most Likely Dead
Mar 29, 2023
The Entertainment Software Association has informed its members that this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was canceled, despite the announcement of its triumphant return almost a year ago.
In an email sent out to its members today, the organization declared the cancellation, stating that although E3 is still a beloved event and brand, the 2023 edition failed to generate enough sustained interest to showcase the industry's size, strength, and impact in a way that would have been satisfactory. The email concludes with the ESA reaffirming its dedication to advocacy work, without any mention of resuming the show in the coming years.
Scheduled from June 13th - 16th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event was supposed to mark the return of the first in-person E3 event since 2019. However, the event had to be canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although a digital version was held in 2021, the organizers decided to cancel the 2022 edition to prioritize a "revitalized showcase" that would set a new benchmark for hybrid industry events.
In June of last year, the return of E3 for this year was announced alongside the confirmation of the cancellation of E3 2022. However, multiple big names in the industry, including Xbox, Nintendo, PlayStation, and most recently, Ubisoft, have confirmed that they will not be attending E3 in any capacity, instead opting to host their own digital showcases.
The major players in the gaming industry have been gaining considerable momentum and success by increasingly relying on live-streaming and self-hosted events. Without the participation of these companies, it is possible that big tentpole events like E3 could become obsolete. This may pose challenges for smaller publishers as it creates a significant void in terms of promoting their new games and products on a grand stage. It remains to be seen if events like E3 will adapt their structure to cater to smaller gaming companies and publishers or if huge gaming conferences will eventually disappear altogether.