E3 Cancelled

Why Was E3 Cancelled? – Answered

Has the Event Ended Eternally? Maybe

After weeks of speculation, canceled names and an extinguishing, almost non-existing hype completely dying out, E3 2023 was officially canceled. Main organizers Entertainment Software Association and ReedPop have announced through their official media that this year’s edition is no more

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E3 is known for being the biggest event in the gaming industry and was supposed to return to its in-person presentations from June 13 to June 16 this year. Why would they back out of it all of a sudden? Well, there are quite a few good reasons.

Why Was E3 Cancelled? – Answered

IGN reported that according to a press report sent to the few confirmed members, organizers have opted for canceling the whole thing because this edition “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry”. In other words, no one wanted to present their stuff at E3. Ouch.

In a public statement, ReedPop Global VP of Gaming Kyle Marsden-Kish declared the following:

“This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3. 

We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences”.

Ubisoft was reported as not attending this year’s edition earlier this week, as well as Microsoft and Nintendo were confirmed to be absent. Rumors about the cancelation became a thing, and here we are.

This marks the second consecutive year without E3. It was initially canceled back in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic spreading out but returned in digital format during the following year, but organizers expressed their desire to return to its in-person roots. Since the 2022 edition was also canceled, they are yet to accomplish that goal.

Related: Five Reasons GaaS Games are Dissolving

Why Are The Companies Not Interested in E3?

A huge deal breaker might’ve been Summer Game Festival’s growing popularity as it took the “big announcements” place in E3’s absence. With basically all big names confirmed for it and scheduled right before E3 (The Festival happens on June 8), it seemed like there was no space for the good n’ old E3 to happen.

Another growing tendency in the industry seems to be hosting your own announcement events instead of only relying on external ones. Why would Nintendo risk losing the spotlight of its biggest announcements this year to competitors when it can simply announce it in a well-timed Nintendo Direct? Microsoft and Sony have also independently hosted their own Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase and State of Play announcement streams from time to time, respectively.

Combine all that and you get a world in which there’s basically no space for E3. Feels weird, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean this is the end of the event. E3 has been a thing for almost 30 years, so while circumstances seem dire, it wouldn’t be wise to count it completely out of the picture just yet. Unless there are no relevant announcements for a possible next year’s edition. Then we might as well just say our prayers to it.

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Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.