E3 2023 has been cancelled. The troubled trade show, which has struggled in recent years due to waning interest and publishers hosting their own events, was set to make a return this year with ReedPop, producers of events such as PAX, at the helm. After having to cancel E3 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the show online for 2021 and then canceling again in 2022, E3 2023 was set to be the triumphant, and public, return of the show before this cancellation. Though this year’s event has been cancelled, ReedPop and the ESA will reportedly keep working together on “future E3 events.”
Earlier today, IGN reported on the cancellation, noting that members of the ESA were made aware of the news via an email. According to the email, E3 2023 “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry.”
News on #E32023 from the source. pic.twitter.com/BK7TUlb8mZ
— E3 (@E3) March 30, 2023
The writing for this year’s E3 had been on the wall sometime. Despite announcing the return of the show under new management a year ago, ReedPop and the ESA struggled to generate interest from publishers. Just some months ago, IGN also reported that none of the three big publishers—that is Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft—were going to have a presence at the LA Convention Center for the show. Though Sony and Nintendo had mostly withdrawn from the event in recent years, often hosting their own showcases at around the same time as E3, Microsoft has been a pretty big proponent and ally of E3 and the ESA, and was the last real holdout.
Without the major three, E3 might’ve still carried on with some third-party publishers, but even those had been backing out of the show for sometime now, with Ubisoft pulling out of the show just last week. Sega and Tencent’s departure this week seems to have been the final nail in E3 2023’s coffin. In the meantime, Summer Games Fest, which is set to take place on June 8 and kick off a summer of announcements, has been picking up traction. Last year’s in-person component, Play Days, is even set to return in a bigger capacity this year. All the while, you’ll surely see showcases from countless of the publishers that would’ve been at E3 cropping up as part of Summer Games Fest or coincidentally aligned with it.