Just when you thought things were looking up for E3 – after going all digital last year, after skipping 2020 entirely – you’d be forgiven if you thought the worst was over. Unfortunately, things are just as bad as ever for the ailing event.
The Entertainment Software Association (or ESA) have recently confirmed that it will not proceed with an in-person event for E3 2022. Instead, organizers plan to do a repeat of last year’s online-only event.
First reported by VentureBeat, the ESA’s official statement references “the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees.” The ESA did not elaborate on their plans further. Instead, they commented “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing details soon.”
But it doesn’t stop there. ArsTechnica later published an article in which reporter and business analyst Mike Futter refuted the ESA’s official statement. “This is spin,” he wrote in the Tweet. Futter then went on by saying that he had heard from sources last November that the ESA “had abandoned their dates for the Los Angeles Convention Center.”
The claim was later backed up by Jason Schreir. In a Tweet responding to Futter, he also believes that the ESA gave up on E3 months ago over the PR fluff piece that hit today.
Schreir then says, “It’s E3 throwing in the towel.” Which no doubt follows the trend of E3 losing relevance as the years went by. Couple by the fact that the event has failed to innovate and even mismanaged to the point that the organization leaked the data of over 2000 journalists and analysts back in 2019, let’s just say that the best years of E3 are firmly behind us.
To make matters worse, Geoff Keighley had just announced that his event, Summer Game Fest, would return in 2022, hours after E3 announced it cancelled any in-person event.
As a final note, both GDC 2022 and PAX East 2022 both have venues scheduled for their event days. Both went digital-only last year, same as E3, so there is still a chance that plans may change leading up to their respective events.
Organizers from last year’s Game Development Conference said in July that “GDC 2022 will return as a physical conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco,” and the conference will be taking place from the 21st of March to the 25th.
PAX East 2022, on the other hand, will take place from April 21st to the 24th. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center will hos the event on the East Coast.