The Future of E3 is Uncertain as ESA and ReedPop Sever Ties
Visitors stroll by an E3 sign, a symbolic image of a time-honored gaming event.Image: ESA / Frederic J. Brown (Getty Images). The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the governing body of E3, and ReedPop, the planner of events such as PAX, have declared their professional separation after failing to stage the year's most anticipated gaming showcase back in June.
E3's Future More in Doubt Than Ever
The once yearly, previously supreme trade event hasn't taken place in person since 2019, and its future is now more uncertain than ever, despite the ESA's reported plans to completely revamp the event. Amidst this uncertainty, the gaming world continues to evolve, with new releases and updates keeping fans on the edge of their seats.
ESA Plans to Reinvent E3
ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis stated, "While the reach of E3 remains unmatched in our industry, we are continuing to explore how we can evolve it to best serve the video game industry and are evaluating every aspect of the event, from format to location." Despite setbacks, the ESA is reportedly still planning a complete overhaul of the E3 show for 2025.
E3 2024: What's in Store?
As for 2024, no official announcements or cancellations have been made yet, but the ESA did confirm that any E3-related event next year won't take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. This was formerly disclosed in a June meeting by the city’s Tourism Board of Commissioners.
E3 Struggles to Attract High-Profile Franchises and Developers
As major gaming companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have deserted E3 for solo events offsite and online, E3 has grappled to attract enough top-tier franchises and developers to fill the massive halls of the convention center. The event has felt more desolate than usual, even before its hiatus following the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESA's Makeshift Online Event and the Collapse of In-Person E3
The ESA held a makeshift online event in 2021, but canceled a 2022 in-person E3 before collaborating with ReedPop for a triumphant return of the celebrated gaming conference in 2023. However, that plan also fell through after reports that Microsoft and other first-party platforms wouldn't participate, causing the revival to seemingly crumble at the eleventh hour. Now, smaller, media-only events like Summer Game Fest, led by Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, have been stepping in to fill the void left by E3.
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