E3 2023 Canceled

The organizer blames a handful of different external circumstances.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 03/31/2023 20:19 Comment on this     ShareThis

The Electronic Entertainment Expo had been a staple of the video game industry since 1995. That all changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when E3 2020 was canceled. In 2021 the show returned as a digital-only event, then in 2022 the Electronic Software Association (ESA) attempted to run the convention again but ultimately had to cancel once more.

For 2023, the ESA and ReedPop were promoting a return to a reimagined in-person event, but the odds seemed stacked against them from early on. Major publishers Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all announced they wouldn’t be coming to E3 2023, Then, it was recently announced that other large scale studios wouldn’t be in attendance, either, including SEGA and Tencent. Things weren’t looking good, and now final word has come that E3 2023 won’t be happening at all.

So, what happened? According to ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, there were a number of external factors that caused the cancellation. First, the COVID-19 is still being alleged as a contributing factor, this time in the form of pushed back development timelines. According to Pierre-Louis, multiple studios were incapable of producing playable demos for the show, which is at the heart of the E3 experience. Without them, the show floor would be devoid of a huge draw for attendees.

Another problem was what some might consider the more obvious issue: a lack of interest from studios. Pierre-Louis said that the marketing needs of these companies has been changing even prior to the COVID-19, but that the onset of the pandemic accelerated many of the transitions to digital showcases and the like. For E3 2023, Pierre-Louis states that while the ESA worked with studios to try and meet their needs, that ultimately things just didn’t pan out financially for most and thus the need to cancel the event for this year.

Does this mean that E3 is done for good? Pierrer-Louis says that the ESA will continue to work with game companies to determine how to make an in-person gathering like E3 work for all parties in the future. It’s interesting to note that other in-person events like PAX and the Game Development Conference continue to be a draw for fans and studios alike—what is it, one might wonder, that is proving to make E3 so untenable? Time will tell, but in the interim E3 is done for the foreseeable future.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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