E3 2023 has been officially cancelled, after days of confusion over which publishers were still due to attend the decision has been made.
News of the cancellation comes via an email sent out by ESA, the owner of E3, as reported by IGN:
This was a difficult decision because of all the effort that we and our partners put into making this event happen, but we had to do what was right for the industry and what was right for E3. We appreciate and understand that interested companies would not have playable demos ready and that resource challenges made being at E3 this summer a hurdle they couldn’t overcome. For those of you who have committed to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t deliver the showcase you deserve and expect from ReedPop event experiences.
The show was due to return as an in-person event in June, at its former home at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
News on #E32023 from the source. pic.twitter.com/BK7TUlb8mZ
— E3 (@E3) March 30, 2023
This year’s E3 had been hailed as the event’s grand return as a physical spectacle, a chance to reclaim its crown as the centerpiece of the video game announcement calendar, after several years of interruptions due to the Covid pandemic.
In January of this year, it was reported that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony would not be attending this year’s event for various reasons. Sony, which left the E3 show floor after its last showing in 2018, wasn’t convinced to return. E3 stalwart Nintendo, meanwhile, had little to show for it, as its biggest game of the year, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, launches in May. Meanwhile, Microsoft was reported to be cutting costs.
The cancellation of E3 2023, the third scrapped version of the event in recent years, is another worrying indicator of the health of the show and industry valuation. Following E3 2019, the most recent live version of the event, E3 2020 was canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Game publishers held their own digital showcases that summer, over the course of a few months. In 2021, E3 was held as an all-digital event. The ESA attempted both an in-person and digital version at E3 2022, but both incarnations were cancelled.
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