The E3 2022 gaming expo has been completely cancelled. The organisers had planned another virtual conference, after earlier dropping plans for a return to a physical event due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Trade group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) says the event, long regarded as the most important showcase in the gaming calendar, will be back in 2023 with a return to in-person festivities in Los Angeles.
The group says it’ll take the time to revamp the event for those attending and those following the action online. It promises a “reinvigorated showcase” with an “all-new format and interactive experience.”
The statement appears to anticipate questions over the long-term future of the expo, given Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, as well as the major developers, have thrived with live streams announcing their new hardware, software and services during the last couple of years.
The statement the ESA provided to Trusted Reviews on Thursday reads: “E3 will return in 2023 with a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations. We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022.
“Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer. Whether enjoyed from the show floor or your favorite devices, the 2023 showcase will bring the community, media, and industry back together in an all-new format and interactive experience.
“We look forward to presenting E3 to fans around the world live from Los Angeles in 2023.”
The ESA has struck a bullish tone with its statement about taking the year to revamp the experience for 2023, but there has to be question marks over whether the major players in the games industry still need E3.
In the absence of a physical event for the last two years, the industry has adapted quite well. Manufacturers and developers have used their own portals to reach fans with big announcements. As a publication that attends the event as a matter of course, we’ve missed the action on the show floor, but studios have done a great job of ensuring we can still do ours.
For fans hoping to get a first look at what’s to come, E3 is still a very attractive proposition and the ESA will probably still meet its ticket sale expectations. It’s now a case of whether those who make the games still feel E3 is the best way to engage with fans and build expectation for the next-generation of games.
That being said, it’ll be really interesting to see what the ESA comes up with with the revamp plans.