That makes four now
E3 is the biggest video game spectacle of them all. But, that spectacle will be notably less grand this year. Just today, two more game companies pulled out of the event.
As reported by VentureBeat, both Wargaming and Disney decided that E3 isn’t worth the effort this year. This news comes on the heels of EA announcing in January that it won’t have a presence at the show, and, earlier this week, Activision did the same. Four companies that buy huge booth spaces — often upwards of a million dollars in cost — are taking a break in 2016.
In a statement to VentureBeat, a Wargaming representative said “From a company perspective, we’re focusing a large majority of activities on events focused on our players and community. Whether it’s a small group of players or hundreds at one of our player gatherings, they’re our main priority. From a strictly business perspective, E3 just doesn’t fit our current direction. It’s a show that is very centralized on retail product, and as a free-to-play digital download gaming company, we’ve realized that while the show may be a good fit for lots of other publishers and developers, it’s currently not a great fit for us.”
Wargaming’s direction seems to be the industry’s general direction. Fan events are becoming the new E3. EA is hosting EA Play next door to E3 in the Nokia Theater. Disney says it plans to do something similar but hasn’t yet elaborated with details. Last year, Nintendo held a pre-E3 Nintendo World Championships, and it was one of the obvious highlights of the week.
E3 is changing whether the ESA wants it to or not. This trend indicates that the industry’s biggest names don’t necessarily rely on the show to the extent that they used to. They can get by on their own and that’s a dangerous prospect for E3. The show might not be dying, but it definitely needs to adapt.