E3, after cancelling in 2020 and being digital-only in 2021, will be absent again this year
Confirmed by a tweet yesterday evening, E3 will not be returning in any format for 2022.
E3, the trade-event-turned-entertainment-show usually hosted in June, was going to be an in-person event this year. Then, in January of this year, the ESA decided it would be a digital-only event due to rising COVID cases.
Now, the event is officially cancelled, with the ESA promising to return in 2023 with a “reinvigorated showcase.”
But how likely is this comeback? It’s no secret that E3 has been struggling recently, even before the recent troubles with COVID. Sony famously pulled out of the event back in 2019 to run their own conferences, the State of Plays.
This is parallel to Nintendo who, while they have kept a presence on the show floor, opted for their Nintendo Directs since 2013 instead of stage presentations.
This isn’t even considering other game conferences. For example, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest which started in 2020, a year that E3 missed.
Following the announcement of E3 2022’s cancellation, the Summer Game Fest once again capitalised on E3’s absence by announcing that it will be going ahead in June.
E3’s clock is ticking
So, what does all this mean for E3? Firstly, it means they’ll have an uphill battle to regain the relevance they once had. Back when the event first launched, it was one of the only places for game companies to share information on upcoming titles.
While there were other gaming conferences, none of them were quite as big as E3 which gave it the lion’s share of attention.
However nowadays the event is clamouring for attention in a crowded market, with companies free to announce games whenever they want through various social media channels. Even if the ESA buoys the event with offering more passes to the public, it doesn’t change the fact that E3 loses relevance with each passing year.
It is a shame, because I do remember thoroughly enjoying the show. Sure, it had its awkward points, but there was something fun about a solid week of game conferences. I have fond memories of watching them with my brother and staying up until 4am because timezones are fun.
But recent years haven’t been up to snuff. Mix that with companies dropping out and the Expo skipping years, the future of the show is very much in the lurch.
Do you think E3 can make a strong comeback next year? Or is this cancellation just another step in the expo’s decline? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re interested in other gaming expos, check out our article on the OTK Games Expo. Alternatively, you can join our Discord for discussions of all things related to gaming and entertainment!