It’s now official: E3 2023 is cancelled. The mythical video game fair will not make its big comeback in physical version next June, following the withdrawals of major players in the industry and changes in the market.
2023 was to sign the big return of E3 in physical version in Los Angeles after several years of absence, the last “real” conference dating from 2019 – the next one had been canceled because of the Covid-19, that of 2021 was held digitally and that of 2022 had simply not taken place. The show – the Electronic Entertainment Expo of its full name – so far a must for video games, which was to be held from June 13 to 16, 2023, was therefore eagerly awaited by the gaming community. The problem is that the biggest players in the video game industry, namely Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Tencent, Devolver and Ubisoft, have announced that they will not participate. Suffice to say that this greatly diminished the interest of the show and that there was a risk of not having many people… This is why the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) and the event organizer Reedpop finally had to resolve to cancel the 2023 edition of E3. A blow for this flagship show, which will probably not recover, undermined by its cost, competition and Covid-19.
E3 2023: chain disclaimers
However, E3 had quite a crowd! While the show was initially reserved for the press and professionals, it decided to open its doors to the general public in 2017, thus gaining in attractiveness. However, things started to go wrong in 2019, when Sony decided to make its announcements on its side, as well as Nintendo. Exhibiting at the show had become too expensive, especially since success was not guaranteed. Indeed, exhibitors have to fight a fierce battle to have the biggest stand, the best demos, the most visibility, etc. Then came the pandemic, and online conferences became more democratic, not to mention that the Web and social networks have radically changed the way video game players communicate with their communities. Not to mention that new events have appeared, such as Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest – which should also be held on June 8. Moreover, the big publishers now prefer to organize their own event separately, in order to reduce costs and have greater control over their communication.
Thus, Microsoft will this year hold an Xbox Games Showcase conference on June 11 – one day before the initial start of E3 – during which it will present its novelties – we are particularly awaiting news of the ambitious RPG from Bethesda, Starfield. For its part, Ubisoft will hold its Ubisoft Forward on June 12 in Los Angeles – will we have any news?Assassin’s Creed Mirage ? The company explains that “E3 has provided unforgettable moments across the industry over the years. While we originally intended to have an official presence at E3, we made the decision to go in another direction. .” As for Nintendo, the Japanese firm prefers to organize online conferences, the Nintendo Direct, and announce them at the last moment. In short, so many cancellations that have planted nails in the coffin of the world video game fair.
E3: a show that no longer has much place to be
The new strategy of the big players in the video game industry allows them to have greater control of their communication and to be less eclipsed by their competitors. Indeed, rather than seeing their announcements drowned in an uninterrupted stream of trailers and information, publishers mobilize their community around a very specific date – enough to ensure its strong presence on social networks, given that she will comment on the various announcements – and maximize feedback from the press. And it also allows them to realize significant savings, without having to pay for the setting up of a stand or the travel expenses of the teams. A major argument in the midst of an economic crisis!
But then, is this the definitive end clap for E3? In his press release reported by The VergeReedPop tries to be confident and does not close the door definitively, stating that the ESA and himself “would continue to work together on future E3 events”. But if they want to get there, they will have to totally reinvent the living room and give it a new meaning. If the studios decide to shun the event, perhaps it is necessary to turn more towards the general public and the influencers, who knows?