The Entertainment Software Association announced today that E3 is officially dead. After more than two decades, the long-running video game conference where developers, publishers, businesses, and press met to check out new games, watch reveals, and more, has been permanently canceled.
The first E3 took place in 1995 and the last in-person conference happened in 2019. The 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but E3 returned for one last bout in 2021 with an all-digital event. The 2022 show was canceled, and this year’s event, which was set to happen with ReedPop, was canceled as well.
Personally, while this news comes as no surprise, I’m legitimately sad about it. E3 is one of the things that first pulled me into the idea of writing about games for a living – I loved the excitement and pure love of games that happened around each week of E3; I wanted to be a part of it in some capacity. And when I finally started freelancing in games media, eventually landing this position here at Game Informer, it remained my dream to attend an E3 event as a professional games journalist.
The dream is dead, y’all.
But amongst the sadness, there are still plenty of great memories I have associated with E3. I’ll never forget sitting in a local theater to watch PlayStation’s 2016 E3 showcase – remember when Sony used to live stream its showcases to theaters, giving us at home a facsimile of what it’d be like to watch the show live in person with others?
Bear McCreary, one of my favorite composers, began playing a song I was unfamiliar with. It was booming, powerful, unique, and new. The showcase then cuts to game footage, and we see a young boy outside of a winter cabin playing with toys. A few moments later, we’d see Kratos, the God of War, back with a new look and in a new land. He was older, with a new voice by Christopher Judge, and sporting a different look. The theater I was in (and the one in the live stream) erupted with excitement – Kratos and God of War were back!
I had never played a God of War game at that point, but the excitement around me was contagious. I was beyond pumped to play a new entry in a series I had never cared about. Now, in 2023, that game is one of my all-time favorites, both because of this E3 memory I have of it and the game itself.
With all that said, I want to know what your favorite E3 memory is? Is it a sequel you never thought you’d get? Is it a new IP you knew immediately you’d fall in love with? Is it a game console reveal? Is it a celebrity appearance? Let Game Informer know in the comments below!