Mar 31, 2022 - Technology

Video game trade show E3 nixed for 2022

Photo of the Los Angeles Convention Center covered in giant ads for video games
E3 2018. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Entertainment Software Association has again canceled its formerly annual gaming midyear trade show E3, the group confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: What had been a story in recent years of the pandemic’s impact on trade shows is giving way to signs of an organization struggling to maintain its former signature event.

  • "E3 will return in 2023 with a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations," an ESA rep told Axios, saying it will be a physical and digital event.
  • The ESA canceled the show in 2020, held a digital-only streamed version in 2021 and had planned a digital one for 2022, citing health concerns. That was then canceled, the ESA says, to focus on next year's show.
  • For decades, E3 had been the blowout event for games marketing, a mid-June mix of big publisher showcases and a physical trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center attended by tens of thousands of industry professionals, media and some fans.

Yes but: This does not mean the games industry will miss its dose of mid-summer hype this year.

  • Gaming hype-man Geoff Keighley, who briefly partnered with E3 to enhance its showcase event until a split in 2020, has been promoting a series of events called the Summer Game Fest.
  • Moments after the E3 news broke today, the Fest was tweeting again to promote “an industry-wide celebration of video games, featuring a spectacular live kickoff show hosted by Geoff Keighley.”

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