News recently broke that E3, the long-standing trade event in the video game industry, has been cancelled for this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic is still preventing major in-person events from occurring, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has decided to also scrap the idea of a digital event, citing that they will be allocating their time and resources for 2023.
Aside from the standard uproar from the internet, one has to stop and ask–does this really even matter?
In recent years, the gaming industry gets flooded with frequent announcements from major publishers on a fairly consistent basis. Sony holds a handful of State of Play events, Nintendo has their Directs and Indie World Showcase, and Microsoft also steps in with ID@Xbox presentations or their own individual announcements. Even Annapurna Interactive had its debut showcase in summer 2021. With publishers announcing their products on their own time, some even pulling out from E3 in the past, many people feel the absence of E3 only proves its irrelevance in gaming today.
Many, including myself, will miss E3 this year. There’s something to be said about a community coming together to celebrate something we all have in common. The combination of announcements from developers and publishers from all walks of life provides a sense of inclusion and togetherness as we celebrate all things gaming. While individual presentations like a Nintendo Direct are amazing, it can leave people feeling siloed based on the consoles they own.
No one truly knows what 2023 will bring. The ESA may intend to bring E3 back “revitalized” in its physical and digital form, but only time will tell if this will come true. I also believe that no matter which side of this debate you fall on, most would agree that in order for E3 to continue being successful in the coming years, the ESA needs to focus more on celebrating video games and bring something fresh to the table–not just be a forum for non-stop video game trailers.
Did the cancellation of E3 2022 come as a surprise to you? Will its absence even matter? Let us know where you stand on our Boss Rush Facebook group or Discord channel by clicking here or scanning the QR code below.
Source: Stephen Totilo
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