The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed that E3, the video game industry's iconic trade show, is dead and has no plans to return. This marks the end of an era for the gaming world, with E3 serving as the central platform for introducing new games and connecting developers and publishers for over two decades.
"After more than two decades of serving as the central platform for the presentation of video games, ESA has decided to end E3," the ESA announced. The statement emphasized that the organization remains focused on advocating for its members and the workforce in the industry.
COVID-19 has dealt a blow to E3
E3, short for Electronic Entertainment Expo, was a massive live event held annually in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2019. It served as a hub for game developers and publishers to network, discover upcoming projects, and build excitement for the future of gaming.
In later years, the event also opened its doors to the public, allowing fans to experience the excitement firsthand. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a blow to E3. The 2020 event was cancelled, and subsequent attempts to revive the show in digital formats in 2021 and 2022 met with limited success.
Earlier this year, ESA ended its partnership with ReedPop, the company that helped organize the recent E3 events, further fueling speculation about the show's future.
E3 format less relevant
ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis justified the decision to end E3, stating that companies now have access to a variety of tools, including their own events, to reach consumers and directly promote new products.
This change in the industry landscape has made the traditional E3 format less relevant. With E3 officially gone, Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest, which emerged during the pandemic as an alternative platform for game announcements and trailers, will continue to fill the void.
Keighley confirmed that Summer Game Fest will return in 2024, offering fans a glimpse into the future of gaming in the absence of E3. As companies develop their own channels and strategies for engaging with audiences, the need for a centralized event like E3 is diminishing.
Still, E3's legacy will undoubtedly live on, remembered as a cornerstone of the gaming industry and the stage for some of the most memorable moments in video game history.