Ever since E3 was canceled at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the question lingered around the once-titanic event of the games industry, "Would it return?"
For the second year in a row, the answer is "no." Yesterday afternoon, Reedpop and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that the 2023 trade show was once again canceled.
The ESA emailed IGN to say that the 2023 edition of E3 "simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry." Notably, the ESA did not state that it would commit to trying to put the show on again in the future.
The announcement is not surprising after January reports stated that neither Sony, Microsoft nor Nintendo had plans to attend the trade show's return to a physical location. At the time, organizers voiced optimism that they would be able to put on a worthwhile event even without the three biggest names in gaming, but evidently, that was not the case.
For most viewers, E3 was the time video game companies would drop their biggest announcements, making it a veritable feast of trailers and memes. However, it was always beholden to Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, and once those companies started organizing their own steady drips of announcements in the forms of Nintendo Directs, showcases and State of Plays, they essentially made E3 irrelevant.
It's also possible, as Kotaku writer Luke Plunkett opined, that the big three didn't want to gamble their reputations by coming to an event that inevitably put them in competition with each other. Perhaps the companies found it made more business sense to control their own narratives than risk walking out of E3 and being seen as the "loser" of the event.
The cancelation of E3 2023 – and the assumption that E3 is really dead for good this time – garnered mixed reactions on social media. Some were nostalgic for the E3 era, while others admitted it has essentially been made useless in the 2020s.
At least one poster had a notably, shall we say, mixed reaction to news of E3's cancelation.
The Christmas Pyro
Mar 31, 2023 at 02:17PM EDT
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