E3 Is Officially Dead and Gone

The Entertainment Software Association has given Washington Post statements saying they will no longer be continuing E3. According to the Washington Post, they have decided to bring the expo to a close, says Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO of the nonprofit trade association that represents the games industry’s interests in the United States. The article is paywalled, but we have the most important parts here.

For over two decades, E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) served as the crown jewel of the gaming industry, a vibrant spectacle where the world’s biggest developers and publishers unveiled their latest creations to eager fans and the press. But as the curtain falls on 2023, we bid a bittersweet farewell to E3, officially canceled after years of struggle.

“We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion… We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

Stanley Pierre-Louis

According to the Washington Post article, many factors led to E3’s demise. The rise of online video conferences, pioneered by Nintendo’s “Direct” format, offered a more cost-effective and accessible way to reach audiences directly. Additionally, the withdrawal of critical partners like Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, and even Microsoft’s Xbox triggered a domino effect, leaving the show with a dwindling roster of top-tier participants.

Many, including myself, have come to despise the Game Awards because it wanted to be E3 itself, leading to too many Hollywood actors and not enough appreciation for Game Developers. The Hollywood stars are interesting everywhere else, but they pale in comparison to game developers at video game shows. Hopefully, Geoff Keighley can just make a new show and leave The Game Awards for appreciating Developers.

“Major companies can create an individual showcase… [and] also partner with other industry events to showcase the breadth of games. That’s exciting for our industry, and it means it’s an opportunity for them to explore how to engage new audiences in different ways.”

Stanley Pierre-Louis

Despite its demise, E3‘s legacy is undeniable. It was a crucial platform for the industry’s growth and innovation, showcasing iconic products like the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. E3 also catapulted gaming personalities like Hideo Kojima and Reggie Fils-Aimé to international fame, forever etching their names in the industry’s history books.

I will miss E3, and I think it’s cool that I was able to be at the last one as press. While my memory of it isn’t fun, it’s one I will appreciate because the Expo itself meant so much to me growing up. Thank you, ESA, for having E3 as long as you did, and I’m excited to see what Keighley will make to replace it.