E3, the infamous video game fronted convention, properly known as Electronic Entertainment Expo, has announced that after earlier this year stating that there would be no in-person event to coincide with the event, as there was in 2021, the ESA has now stated that there will be no digital or in-person event this year, as confirmed by IGN upon investigation. The expo has been monumental for nearly three decades now as it has been where nearly the premier event for companies heavily involved in the video game industry to debut new and upcoming projects to a highly interested and invested audience. However, as there was strictly a digital event last year and this year the status of the event has now been changed twice, it’s hard to look forward to the future of the famous expo. Below, we’ve gone into detail on the shift in the atmosphere for the expo, how last year compared to other years, as strictly a digital platform during the pandemic, and what it means overall for there to be no E3 until 2023.
History and Importance of E3
E3 has been at the forefront of presenting new technologies and first looks, such as trailers and gameplay with developers and others in the industry, of upcoming projects for decades now, and to hear the news directly from the ESA, the organization responsible for E3, that along with the previously canceled in-person event leading to a cancelation entirely for E3 for 2022, leaving no E3 of any form until 2023. E3 was formed when companies such as SEGA were displeased with how current electronics consumer expos were handling the rising video game industry, as they decided not to attend CES the year after witnessing video game industry mistreatment. Sega and likewise companies felt mutually displeased with the handling of the industry, which led to the official formation of a preliminary organization, IDSA, the Interactive Digital Software Association, that later evolved into the ESA, The Entertainment Software Association, in 2003. However, before the official formation of the ESA, IDSA created the now universal video game rating board, the ESRB, in order to comply with the lack of ratings attached to video games, according to Congress. Eventually, from such vents, the united video game industry, under the ESA and ESRB realized they needed their own trade show, not to combat others, but to put video games in their own deserving spotlight to be highlighted, without being overshadowed by another industry or mistreated like previously so. In 1995 the first E3 was set to take place in June in Los Angeles, however, some of the largest vendors, Microsoft and Nintendo, were still dedicated to CEA and their trade show, CES until sometime before the first E3 was set to take place when E3 became the first, and premier video game industry-led convention and expo. From this point forward E3 only grew, but for nearly its entirety remained at the same venue annually, Los Angeles Convention Center, until E3 2021, and now with the news of no E3 until 2023 everything has been up in the air regarding the future.
As stated above, E3 was nearly instantly and constantly the premier place for video game giants and indie developers alike to come together under one roof and comfortably promote their newest and upcoming projects. However, no person, company, or event was a stronger force than the COVID pandemic as E3 was quite shuttered from the lack of ability to provide an environment that many had become accustomed to when visiting the expo. At the end of E3 2019, the ESA had announced that the Los Angeles Convention Center would be the home of E3 until at least 2023, with the right to break off the deal sooner than that, if desired. Overall, events around the world that involved large gatherings were being heavily watched, and ready for cancellation, until eventually E3 2020 was canceled entirely with no in-person or digital event, which led to industry giants and professionals promoting their upcoming projects in other ways. Looking forward, E3 had all intents to host E3 as it was, in-person and digital events in full throttle, with a return to form, however as the event drew closer, the ESA officially announced that E3 would be an online and digital exclusive event in order to the most of what they could with the situation. Now, as E3 2022 closely approached, the ESA has now officially announced that the event was canceled and won’t be either an in-person or digital event at all, just under 3 months until the event was scheduled to take place meaning that there will be no E3 until 2023.
No E3 Until 2023
Originally, after deciding that there would be no in-person event, E3 stated they would go digital again this year but as of March 31st, the ESA has officially stated that there will be no E3 in 2022 and remained hopeful for 2023. While of course, only time could tell, the pandemic has been getting rolled back more lately than ever before, in the last two years and on, so for the ESA to state that industry leaders, organizers, influencers, and fans would have an event to attend in 2023 left some hope on the table for the future of the expo. Ultimately, the ESA stated in a press release regarding the lack of E3 2022 that they would be directing all of their resources to 2023, in order to make it as enjoyable and smooth as possible. Overall, regarding no E3 until 2023, the ESA stated, “We will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer.”