E3 Is Officially Dead, ESA Says “It’s the Right Thing to Do”

E3 has been officially canceled after 28 years, its parent company has announced.

The news was first revealed in an interview with Entertainment Software Association (ESA) president Stanley Pierre-Louis, conducted by the Washington Post. It was subsequently confirmed by a post on the official E3 X account.

E3 was an industry mainstay for many years, but it’s now being laid to rest.

In the Washington Post interview, Pierre-Louis says it was “difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event”, but that it was “the right thing to do” given the current gaming landscape.

He points to the fact that companies can now talk to gamers and business partners “through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases”.

According to Pierre-Louis, “any one of these major companies can create an individual showcase”, and this means studios are now engaging audiences in different ways.

Pierre-Louis doesn’t outright state that these developments have made E3 obsolete, but that seems to be the strong implication of his words.

Geoff Keighley presenting the 2023 Game Awards
E3 has arguably been replaced by many disparate events, including The Game Awards and Summer Game Fest.

This decision follows what has arguably been a particularly disastrous and chaotic year for E3, after the 2022 show was canceled.

In June last year, it was revealed that E3 2023 was officially going ahead, and in July, the ESA announced that PAX and Comic-Con organizer ReedPop would take over the event.

Companies like Ubisoft confirmed they would be at the show, but it wasn’t long before studios started to announce that they were skipping E3 for their own presentations or other alternatives.

Ubisoft itself seemingly reneged on its decision to attend E3 in March this year, and quirky indie publisher Devolver Digital followed suit not long after.

Eventually, the 2023 show was canceled, and the ESA officially ended its partnership with ReedPop for the event in September, arguably throwing the future of the entire convention into doubt, which now seems as if it was entirely warranted.

For many, this will feel like the confirmation of something suspected for a long time rather than a shock, but it’s still just a little sad to see E3 go, if only for nostalgic reasons. Stay tuned for more.