Something to look forward to
E3 was already struggling before the pandemic hit, so its gradual departure over the past few years seemed to be a long time coming. While it may not have taken anyone by surprise, it was still pretty sad to see an event that had become such a staple of the gaming industry close its doors indefinitely. We’ve had plenty of other news streams to keep us busy, but it just hasn’t quite been the same. So naturally, we’re pretty excited to hear from the Entertainment Software Association (the organization that runs E3) that the event will be back fully in person in 2023 after three years, as they told The Washington Post.
As ESA president and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis told the site: “We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event. 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.”
E3 had already been in a transition period before the pandemic hit — the event had been struggling with attendance and its own identity for years. They were making big changes, like allowing fans to attend what was previously a trade-only event in 2015, but even that wasn’t enough to keep them afloat with many of the large companies opting for their own solo press conferences.
While it can be a lot of fun to have one huge event to look forward to every year, some have considered the benefits of sunsetting E3 for good, like more games being able to stand out when the press is paced more evenly throughout the year, rather than being dumped on us all at once.
As an LA local, I’d love to be able to go in person again for E3 2023, but I know for others it’s not that simple. I guess now it’s just a waiting game to see if the ESA actually pulls through on this one.