E3 might be absent for now, but it’s making its return next year, according to Entertainment Software Association president and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis. The Washington Post reported today ESA’s intention to bring E3 back in 2023, despite its complete absence from the video game scene this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused countless in-person events and conventions to postpone or cancel over the past two years, and E3 was one of the biggest conventions that seemed to be caught most off-guard. Having been cancelled entirely in 2020, the show returned in an online-only format for 2021, before a planned in-person convention for 2022 was cancelled due to COVID. Subsequent plans for another online showcase also fell through.
ESA is still hopeful that 2023 is the year for E3’s triumphant return. Pierre-Louis told the Washington Post that next year’s event will have elements of a traditional E3 show, live and in-person, alongside an online show. “I think there is a space for a physical show; I think there’s an importance of having digital reach,” Pierre-Louis said. “Combining those two, I think there is a critical element of what we think E3 can provide.”
Despite its reputation as a premier place for developers to announce news and reveal footage of new and upcoming games, E3 seemed to be troubled even before COVID-19. Several companies decided to stop presenting at E3 in 2018 and 2019, instead opting to stage online game reveals of their own. Other events stepped up to fill the void left by E3 in early June as well, such as the Summer Game Fest. E3 will need to hope the novelty and appeal of a new, in-person event after so long away can capture the interest of both the public and developers.
No dates were announced for next year’s E3, similar to the 2022 E3 cycle that ended in the event’s cancellation. But, for those who miss in-person presentations and seeing crowd reactions to big surprises and reveals, there’s still hope E3 will return.