With only two months left before opening its doors, the 2023 edition of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been cancelled.
E3’s cancellation was confirmed by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which has operated the event since 1995, and its partner ReedPop – a gaming industry event organiser and publisher.
Due to take place, 13 –16 June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, E3 2023 was to be the expo’s first in-person event since 2019 – following cancellations in both 2020 and 2022, and a digital edition in 2021.
The cancellation was announced by ESA to its members via an email, followed by an announcement on E3’s website. The email informed members that the event “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary” to go ahead.
ESA issued a public statement on the cancellation from Kyle Marsden-Kish, ReedPop’s global VP of gaming, who said: “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.”
The news follows announcements from several big names within the video gaming industry that they would not be attending the 2023 event (including Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and Ubisoft), with several electing to focus on their own digital showcases.
Before the 2023 cancellation, E3 had also dabbled with developing a hybrid event. According to the show organisers, E3’s 2022 cancellation was to focus on building a ‘revitalised’ virtual showcase following a fully digital exhibition in 2021.
Despite previous conversations surrounding E3’s future focusing on the trade show’s continuing relevance in the gaming industry, the loss of the event may prove detrimental. BBC gaming reporter Steffan Powell said that: “What E3 gave companies was an opportunity to cut through to new audiences and different people, and that could be lost.”
Powell noted that the trade show gave smaller and ‘indie’ developers the chance to attract attention and build brand awareness – especially if their stand happened to be nearby an industry titan such as Sony or Nintendo.