The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is pulling the plug on E3.
E3 is officially dead.
In a statement shared on social media platform X, ESA said, “After more than two decades of serving as a central showcase for the video game industry, ESA has decided to end E3. ESA remains focused on advocating for ESA member companies and the industry workforce who fuel positive cultural and economic impact every day.”
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3), usually held in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, served as a platform for game developers and publishers to advertise their new games to potential partners and press members. However, it will be mostly known for big announcements, world premieres, and the impressive number of annual memes it would generate.
E3 faced its first block during the COVID-19 pandemic, because of which E3 2020 was cancelled and gave way to Geoff Keighley to host his own digital version of Summer Games Fest, which gained massive traction as a result. ESA came back with a digital version in 2021, but it was too little too late by then as many developers and publishers sought to advertise their games by conducting their own digital showcase rather than participating in E3. E3 2022 was cancelled in an effort to focus on a “revitalized showcase”, promising a standard-defining hybrid event, but it seems now that it will never happen.
With the prevalence of online streaming and digital events, the end of E3 was clearly in sight. For publishers, hosting a digital showcase was not only convenient – they could control the time and date to gain as much traction as possible – but also infinitely more cost-effective, as participating in E3 requires a massive financial investment in hosting press conferences and setting up booths to impress attendees. Sony was the first to move away from E3, and other publishers, including Nintendo, followed suit. In the end, only Xbox stayed committed to participating in E3, but it seems that wasn’t enough for the ESA to base an event on.
Well, this is the end of the road for one of the most iconic and legendary events of the gaming industry. Do you have any memories of E3 that you would like to share? Sound off in the comments below!
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.