Why was E3 canceled and will it return?

By Melany Moncada

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Apr 6, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

E3 is officially canceled, and the reason why has been known since January this year. Whether the event will return in the future or not is unclear at the moment.

E3 is the largest exhibition for developers and publishers in the video game industry. The event ran from 1999 to 2019, when the final edition took place. The event is organized by the Entertainment Software Association, ESA for short, in collaboration with ReedPop, the production company behind PAX and New York Comic Con.

The event had a set date for the 2023 edition in June 13. Unfortunately, the event has been canceled, and all future editions remain up in the air. The reason? There simply isn’t enough interest in the event.

The big three, Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony, confirmed they wouldn’t be participating in E3 this year. Instead, each company is holding its own showcase at times that are convenient for them and where they don’t have to share the spotlight with other companies.

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Sony was the first to exit E3. Ahead of the 2019 edition, the brand stated that E3 no longer held the importance it used to hold in the industry. Sony’s stance was criticized, but time proved them to be right. Nintendo and Microsoft followed Sony in their decision in the following years.

One of the biggest complaints comes from the ESA’s mistreatment of the E3 brand. The ESA recruited ReedPop to increase interest in the event, but none of the big studios believed that ReedPop could deliver on the promises being made.

While E3 is canceled, June will have some interesting showcases. On June 11, Microsoft is hosting the annual Xbox showcase. Ubisoft will host its very own Ubisoft Forward Live on June 12.

Will E3 return in the future?

Kyle Marsden-Kish, global VP of gaming at ReedPop, said that the event is on pause for the time being and not a complete cancelation for the event.

ESA and ReedPop are working together to bring E3 back in the future.

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