E3 2023 cancelled due to lack of “sustained interest”

E3 2023 cancelled

E3 2023 is cancelled, its organisers have announced, because the event “did not garner the sustained interest necessary.”


UPDATE:  The boss of the Entertainment Software Association, the company that owns E3, has talked about the decision to cancel this year’s expo. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis answered the direct yet logical question: what went wrong?

“We were off to a strong start,” he said. “There was interest among exhibitors, industry players, media and certainly the fans. Ultimately, however, there were challenges that proved too large to surmount.”

Those challenges were partly due to the pandemic, Pierre-Louis went on, and also other factors, including rising inflation. “Several companies have reported that the timeline for game development has been altered since the start of the COVID pandemic. Second, economic headwinds have caused several companies to reassess how they invest in large marketing events. And third, companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities.”

As for the other glaring question – will E3 happen in 2024 – Pierre-Louis couldn’t give a definitive answer either way.

“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 said. “We’re certainly going to be listening and ensuring whatever we want to offer meets those needs and at that time, we will have more news to share.”

You can read Christopher Dring’s full interview with Pierre-Louis here. Our original story follows…


ORIGINAL STORY: E3 2023 has been cancelled, it has been confirmed. Following several days of high profile drop-outs and growing speculation that the Los Angeles-based event wouldn’t go ahead, organiser ReedPop has confirmed that the expo is indeed off.

“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,” said Kyle Marsden-Kish, global VP of gaming at Reedpop, in a statement published at IGN. “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.”

It’s a sad state of affairs for an event that, from its inception in 1995 onwards, quickly became one of the industry’s biggest fixtures. In its heyday, E3 was the main venue for gaming’s biggest manufacturers and publishers.

Indeed, the first ever E3 played host to one of that year’s biggest dramas: Sega had stealth-released its Saturn console the day before the event began, with its retail price set at $399.

The next day, Sony’s head of development Steve Race took to the E3 stage, grasped the microphone, and said, simply, “299”.

With that one mic drop, the Saturn’s fate was sealed, and the original PlayStation, now a full hundred dollars less than its predecessor, soared.

Sadly, times and trends change. Publishers and manufacturers have increasingly followed the Nintendo Direct model of announcing their products through live webcasts, while the global pandemic forced E3 into a hiatus in 2020 and again the following year.

Under the aegis of new organiser ReedPop, E3 2023 was intended as a reboot. As the list of big names withdrawing from the event grew to a worrying length, however, it became clear that the situation couldn’t remain sustainable for long.

The Entertainment Software Association, which owns E3, has said it will work with organiser ReedPop again on “future E3 events”.

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