[Updated on March 31 @ 3:53 PM ET] – In a follow-up statement to Variety, the ESA has confirmed that E3 2022 is canceled: “E3 will return in 2023 with a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations. We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022.” The organization plans to “devote [its] energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer.”
The original story, posted on March 31, is as follows.
“E3 will return in 2023 with a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations. We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022.”
While news has not been made official, according to reports, E3 2022 is now fully canceled. The ESA previously stated that the show would not be an in-person event this year. However, it also alluded it could be online only — much like E3 2021. But no matter how “excited about the future of E3” the ESA was, it seems like it couldn’t completely escape reality.
The news was broken earlier today by Will Powers, the PR lead for Razer. In a Twitter message, Powers wrote that he received an email that confirmed E3 2022 was fully canceled, stating it was “official official.” VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb followed up, saying “everyone is going with Keighley instead because he’s actually competent.”
Due to the pandemic, E3 was fully canceled for the first time back in 2020. Publishers such as Ubisoft and Microsoft ended up hosting their own shows. E3 returned a year later as a digital-only event. However, the response from the industry and public wasn’t positive.
E3 may be going the way of the dinosaur
The ESA canceled E3 2022’s in-person event back in early January. At the time, it wasn’t clear if an online version would be showcased. The statement at the time read: “Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022.” In a follow-up statement, the ESA wouldn’t confirm if the show was going online.
With today’s report, it stands to question if E3 is still necessary. Publishers have been able to host their own shows before. And with alternatives like Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest (which is returning in June), one wonders if E3 has finally been knocked from its perch for good.
But, as a personal note, I’d be perfectly content without having an event or two every week this summer. Sure, the gaming audience was able to soak in a lot of great reveals. However, as a person who has to report on said reveals: yikes.
Regardless, things may be a tad different this year. Electronic Arts canceled EA Play Live 2022, and other publishers haven’t made any announcements (that I know of). At least Keighley won’t worry about having any competition — if that was ever a question. I wonder what his take on today’s news is?