After a wave of major publishers announced they wouldn’t be participating in E3’s return this Summer, the ESA is calling it quits.
Though this should come as no surprise…it’s still a bit of a bummer. E3 2023 is officially canceled. Considering this was hyped up to be the event’s big return after having been absent due to the pandemic over the last several years (and a fairly weak digital show in 2022), it may not be a stretch to wonder if this might be the end of E3 in general.
The writing has been on the wall. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo (whose presences had been waning over the years anyway) said from the initial E3 2023 announcement they wouldn’t be part of the show. And over the past couple weeks pretty much every major publisher revealed they were NOT participating in E3. In the case of Ubisoft and Devolver Digital, they went ahead and switched entirely to Summer Game Fest.
Many were waiting/expecting for the cancellation announcement to come any day. It seems like today is that day.
IGN reports organizers of the show told members that E3 2023 “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.”
Soon after the report hit, the ESA made an official statement confirming the news:
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.
Again, I don’t think any of us are necessarily surprised. Even so, it feels like the end of an era. While the digital showcases are a blast, something about E3 week always felt special, and it’s weird to think it may not come again.