The Electronic Software Association (ESA) had high hopes for this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event. It was supposed to be a return to gaming’s most high-profile in-person event following the pandemic slowdown. Unfortunately, this year’s event has been completely cancelled.
And while ReedPop, the company that was taking the organisational reigns of the event this year, is making positive noises about possible future events, it doesn’t look like this gaming institution is coming back.
E3 – you sank my gaming event
ReedPop’s global vice president of gaming, Kyle Marsden-Kish, said in a statement, “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 [the event], we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.”
But that statement didn’t address that gaming’s heaviest hitters — Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — wouldn’t have a presence at the event this year. The ESA did say that this year’s event “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.”
Many major publishers — Ubisoft was the latest to bail on the Los Angeles event — made it clear that they see more value in going it alone. Every major company that declined to participate in E3 is planning showcase events where they will show off what’s coming next.
Unfortunately, while ReedPop and the ESA apparently plan to collaborate on “future E3 events”, it’s hard to see how gaming’s former crown jewel will regain any of its shine. Logistically, the Los Angeles convention is a huge and expensive collaborative effort. Some companies are experiencing better results from cheaper online events, or are only willing to foot the bill for their own extravaganza. Still, an event announcement for 2024 before the end of this year wouldn’t surprise us. Whether it takes place is another matter entirely.