E3 is officially dead, confirms ESA – WGB, Home of AWESOME Reviews

By admin Dec 20, 2023

Once the biggest event on the gaming calendar, E3 is now officially dead, as confirmed by the show’s organiser the Entertainment Software Association (ESA.)

“We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion,” said ESA president  Stanley Pierre-Louis . “We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

At its peak, E3 was easily the biggest event of the year for gaming fans, a massive show that all of the biggest companies would use to announce their newest projects and show off the yet-to-be-released ones. Thousands upon thousands of people would descend upon the show in order to meet with like-minded folk and play the biggest new games before inevitably heading home and suffering through the dread and sadly inevitable E3 flu.

But E3 has been struggling for a long time to maintain its relevancy. One issue was that it wanted to be both a trade show, which is what it began life as in 1995, and a big public event. The two sides often collided, and as the power of the Internet grew companies realised that they could just host their own events to show off their games to prospective players.

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Gene Park, the ESA president confirmed that companies were simply able to host their own events: “There were fans who were invited to attend in the later years, but it really was about a marketing and business model for the industry and being able to provide the world with information about new products,” he said. “Companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.”

In 2019 it became clearer than ever that E3 needed to find a way to reinvent itself as Sony decided to skip the event. With one of the big three missing, the writing was on the wall in neon pink. Then, of course, Covid-19 hit and the world went a little crazy for a while. With the vast majority of the world locked up in their houses, E3 was put on hold. To compensate, even more companies began holding their own livestreamed events in order to talk about their games and they didn’t need to spend millions on floor space to do it. The question was obvious: do we even need E3 anymore?

E3 attempted to adapt by holding a digital event in 2021 but it didn’t have the same grandiose feel as the real thing. Plus, they were now having to compete with Geoff Keighley who had created Summer Game Fest which held its first show in 2020.

E3 was going to return for a digital-only event in 2022 but it was cancelled. The ESA cited a desire to focus all their efforts and resources on returning in-person in 2023. It didn’t seem promising and yet there was hope that perhaps they could pull it off and that E3 could still find a place in the industry alongside the Summer Game Fest and even the Game Awards which often feels less like an award show and more like a giant showcase for big announces with some trophies thrown in for good measure.

Then came the final nail in the coffin. In March of this year, new organizer Reedpop and the ESA announced that E3 2023 wasn’t happening. Prior to the announcement, various companies such as Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega and more had stated they wouldn’t be at E3. Without these huge players in the gaming space, E3 would have nothing to show.

In short, then, it seemed like E3 was never going to make its grand comeback, and thus the ESA’s announcement really does not come as a surprise. It’s still a crying shame, however: I still have heaps of good memories of excitedly watching the show live and chatting to all my friends. I watched in awe as GTA 4 was revealed via a tattoo on Peter Moore’s arm, and I geeked out when God of War made its triumphant return in 2016. Like so many other people, I had a dream about managing to attend E3 in person one day, to be able to share in the experience with thousands of other people. I guess that dream, like E3, is gone now.

Godspeed, E3. You weren’t always perfect, but the memories you made were.

By admin

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