E3, the video game industry’s biggest annual expo, has been cancelled.
The show had been due to make a return after years of Covid-19 disruption this June in Los Angeles, but in a joint statement, the US’s Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and events company Reedpop announced it would no longer be going ahead.
Known as “video game Christmas” by fans, E3 has been a fixture in the games industry calendar since 1995, and has traditionally been where game publishers and console manufacturers announce what’s next for players.
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U are among the consoles that have been announced at the event. Its cancellation leaves the games industry without a dominant focal point for marketing new titles; instead, since Covid, the trend has been towards live-streamed shows where publishers announce and show new titles virtually.
“This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3,” Reedpop’s Kyle Marsden-Kish said in a joint statement with the ESA.
“We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome.
“For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.”
In the past, E3 had been open to industry professionals and the public alike, with about 66,000 attendees in 2019, before Covid shut down large-scale events. In the past decade, its big press conferences had been live streamed to a global online audience, creating considerable buzz and wider media attention. In its absence, rival online-focused events have sprung up to fill the gap, but none has yet achieved E3’s notoriety and mainstream attention.
According to their statement, ReedPop and the Entertainment Software Association still plan to collaborate on future events.
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