Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft and other major players in the game industry have all confirmed that they would have no presence on the E3 2023 show floor. Now the event itself won't happen at all.
According to IGN, the Entertainment Software Association has begun notifying members that while the show "remains a beloved event and brand," the plans for E3 2023 "simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength and impact our industry."
News on #E32023 from the source. pic.twitter.com/BK7TUlb8mZ— E3 (@E3) March 30, 2023
The ESA has confirmed the cancellation on Twitter, and issued a statement from ReedPop's Global VP of Gaming, Kyle Marsden-Kish:
This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3. 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. For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis elaborated further, explaining that the COVID pandemic changed the "timeline for game development" for several companies in the games industry, perhaps explaining why Marsden-Kish lamented the lack of playable demos that would be ready in time for the show. Pierre-Louis also changes in marketing plans from game companies, as well as a willingness of brands to experiment with more digital events, as opposed to in-person ones.
As for if we'll see another E3 one day in the future, the ESA's president wasn't ready to say. "We're committed to providing an industry platform for marketing and convening but we want to make sure we find that right balance that meets the needs of the industry," he told GamesIndustry. "E3 will iterate to ensure it's meeting the needs of companies that want to market on this global platform. That means it will iterate in how people engage with E3. We want to meet the needs of players who view this as an important platform and that's going to evolve over time."
The event was supposed to run from June 13th to 16th in Los Angeles, and would have been the first in-person E3 event since 2019.
While the event has been canceled, there will likely still be plenty of video game news to look forward to in June: Ubisoft previously announced that it would be hosting its own event around the same time, and Nintendo and PlayStation typically run digital events of their own in June. Microsoft previously pledged to be part of E3's digital show, and may still have announcements in spite of the lack of an E3 event itself. And, of course, there's always Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest on June 8th in Los Angeles, albeit without the competition.
Here's 15-year old me at the first-ever E3 in 1995.— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 30, 2023
E3 meant so much to me and to so many of you too.
Four years ago, I realized that E3 wasn't evolving as it needed to compete in a global, digital world. So we started building what’s next. See at @summergamefest June 8. pic.twitter.com/wSZqpz3wjY
Engadget has reached out to the ESA for comment.