E3 2023 Has Been Canceled Following the Exodus of Publishers and Console Makers

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Image: ESA

E3 2023 has officially been canceled after numerous publishers announced they, and all three major console makers, would no longer be attending. The event which had been a means for game publishers and console makers to showcase upcoming games and products had never recovered from changes in the industry following the pandemic. The in-person event was canceled in 2020, attempted a digital online version in 2021, and then canceled again in 2022; was set to return in a few months. This year’s event was being produced by ReedPop, whose previous productions included PAX, a Star Wars celebration event, and a NY Comic Con. Kyle Marsden-Kish (ReedPop Global VP of Gaming) issued the following statement yesterday announcing this year’s cancelation.

Press Release (via IGN)

“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.”

The Exodus

Since its return announcement in July 2022, things steadily began to look uncertain for the event. Sony had already been absent since 2019 following a disagreement with the ESA. By January it had been reported that neither Xbox nor Nintendo would attend. The exodus continued as multiple publishers began announcing their departure. The list of publishers included Ubisoft, Sega, and Tencent and there were rumors that Konami, and possibly more, would pull out as well. Ultimately many of E3’s attendees have managed to create their own online events since the pandemic with varying levels of success. Xbox, who also sits on the board of the ESA, even went so far as to hold its own events during the same time as E3 but had said it tried to schedule them to align with E3.

The E3 expo website has also now been updated with a message about its cancelation. The ESA states that it’s re-evaluating the future of the event so perhaps it may return in another form down the road.

“Show organizer ReedPop announces E3 2023 will not take place as scheduled this June, with both physical and digital events canceled. Alongside the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), both parties will re-evaluate the future of E3.”

Geoff Keighley, of The Game Awards, also commented on his social media page about the event cancelation while promoting the Summer Game Fest happening on June 8.

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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