E3 to get a physical and digital show in 2023 after skipping 2022 entirely

People have been debating for years whether the once-massive video game industry event is now "dead"

E3 2021

The Electronics Entertainment Expo will return in 2023, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has reiterated.

The ESA, the gaming industry lobbying group that organizes E3, officially cancelled this year’s show in March. At the time, the ESA didn’t provide a reason for skipping this year, although it promised a “revitalized physical and digital” experience in 2023. Now, a few months later, the company maintained that E3 is happening next year in a new interview with The Washington Post.

“We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event,” ESA president and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis told The Washington Post. The physical event will be held in Los Angeles as normal.

“As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great.”

However, conversations surrounding E3’s relevance have been circulating for years now, particularly due to PlayStation pulling out of the 2019 show. In an age where companies can hold their own virtual events at their convenience, like PlayStation just did last week with its latest State of Play, some have argued that having to commit to an expensive physical presence in Los Angeles is unneeded. The ESA has also come under fire for leaking media’s personal information, as well as the data of members of the general public who took part in last year’s poorly received digital E3.

Given all of this, some have wondered whether the ESA was throwing in the towel, especially amid reports that the group was skipping this year’s show even before COVID cases were on the rise. All the while, the industry has carried on with its own events, particularly Summer Game Fest, which The Game Awards producer Geoff Keighley has put on amid E3’s absence. When The Washington Post asked about all of these reports, Pierre-Louis simply said, “What I can tell you is that COVID has been a driving factor for anyone who conducts physical events for the past three years.”

Assuming it does indeed happen, it remains to be seen exactly what next year’s E3 will look like. It’s unclear which publishers will decide to participate, especially if there are other events vying for their attention. To that point, well-known Twitter user Nibellion tweeted that E3’s offering of a physical platform is something that other events, like Summer Game Fest, have yet to do. In response, Keighley simply tweeted with the “eye” emoji, which could be viewed as a cryptic tease of his plans. Given Keighley’s success with gaming events, it’s not hard to imagine how he might be planning of expanding the reach of Summer Game Fest, including through a potential future physical show.

For now, though, we have Summer Game Fest 2022, which kicks off on Thursday, June 9th at 11am PT/2pm ET. It’s one of many events happening this month — a full breakdown of those can be found here.

Source: The Washington Post