The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, will not return in the future.
This was revealed through a Washington Post article, along with the official website being updated with “After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye. Thanks for the memories. GGWP” The comment Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA president and CEO, gave can be found below.
After more than two decades of hosting an event that has served as a central showcase for the U.S. and global video game industry, the Entertainment Software Association has decided to bring E3 to a close.We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion. We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.The Washington Post
The announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise given the struggles the ESA faced with the last couple of E3 conventions. Earlier this year E3 was cancelled due to low interest, after missing multiple years due to COVID-19 and other issues. Prior to COVID-19 the convention struggled to find an audience, something that was highlighted by it opening things up to the public. This resulted in more attendees, but also issues with stemming from poor preparation, and antiquated practices. As someone who attended the public years it was a mess that many players found frustrating.
In addition to those struggles, the “new opportunities” Pierre-Louis mentioned are the recent rise of “directs,” and general rise in social media. This is probably best seen with Grand Theft Auto VI‘s first trailer pulling over 140 million views on YouTube in a week. The rise of things like The Game Awards also made the decision to move away from a traditional convention a lot easier.
Any one of these major companies can create an individual showcase … [and] also partner with other industry events to showcase the breadth of games. That’s exciting for our industry, and it means it’s an opportunity for them to explore how to engage new audiences in different ways.The Washington Post
While it’s sad to see E3 officially end, hopefully this will result in a more modern experience to replace it.