After a week of publishers like Ubisoft and Sega pulling out of attending E3 2023, the ESA and E3 2023’s organizer has announced that it has cancelled both digital and physical events of this year’s E3, according to IGN with sources close to the situation.
The ESA goes on to say in an email that E3 “remains a beloved event and brand” but that this year’s event could not go forward due to “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.”
“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. 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,” ReedPop global VP of gaming, Kyle Marsden-Kish said in a statement.
If E3 was to happen this year, it would have been the physical return for the event for the first time since E3 2019 – E3 2023 was originally scheduled to take place from June 13th through the 16th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In response to the news, Summer Game Fest founder Geoff Keighley commented on the news on Twitter while verbally beating E3 2023’s warm corpse.
“E3 meant so much to me and to so many of you too. Four years ago, I realized that E3 wasn’t evolving as it needed to compete in a global, digital world. So we started building what’s next. See at @summergamefest June 8th,” Summer Game Fest founder,” Geoff Keighley said in a tweet.
Here's 15-year old me at the first-ever E3 in 1995.
E3 meant so much to me and to so many of you too.
Four years ago, I realized that E3 wasn't evolving as it needed to compete in a global, digital world. So we started building what’s next. See at @summergamefest June 8. pic.twitter.com/wSZqpz3wjY
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 30, 2023
Knowing how much-assumed game announcements were going to get at Summer Games Fest plus other publisher broadcast digital showcases, the news isn’t earth-shattering but still sad nonetheless. The June E3 time frame has always been an exciting time as gamers get their first taste of what’s coming later this year and beyond but the pandemic has certainly changed the perspective of publishers. Rather than spending time to get a space at E3, they can just put together a digital showcase and still get the same impact.
Will be interesting to see know if this is truly the death of E3 or will the ESA go back to the whiteboard and do E3 2024 but with a different approach or not… only the future knows.