The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has announced that E3 2023 has been cancelled entirely.
No, this is not an April fool’s, E3 really has been canned and must be removed from your gaming calendar for at least another year. The news comes after big names such as Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Ubisoft had withdrawn from the event. With the last in-person event dating right the way back to 2019, we have to wonder if we’ll ever see another E3 extravaganza.
While unfortunate, this is not surprising given the absence of all the major brands. Without big names behind the event – be it by name association and hype or financially by paying big money for the best spots on the show floor – it was just a matter of time before the remaining publishers followed suit.
Even if the ESA had decided to move forward with the show, all signs suggest interest among actual gamers had long since started to wane. With all the high-profile developers hosting their own showcase events, there’s never a shortage of major announcements and new trailers.
While E3 could have been a perfect opportunity for smaller studios to occupy the vacant space and bring new IPs into the spotlight, those aspirations have also been dashed. Large-scale, in-person events have faced an uncertain future since the pandemic, and live streaming is clearly here to stay. Indies have cottoned on to the fact it is cheaper to stream on services such as Twitch; reaching huge numbers while not having to worry about any of the unplanned issues that come with live events.
ESA hasn’t commented on future E3s as yet, but given the changing landscape of the gaming industry, there’s a chance we won’t see another E3 ever again. Fortunately for those who like to attend such gatherings, we still have the Tokyo Game Show, PAX East, and Gamescom, as well as the UK’s own Insomnia, which kicks off at the NEC Birmingham next week.