The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which controls E3, and ReedPop, which organizes events like PAX, announced they’re no longer working together after failing to put on the biggest gaming showcase of the year back in June. The once-annual, once-dominant trade event hasn’t been held in person since 2019, and its future is more in doubt than ever, despite the ESA’s reported plans to completely “reinvent” the show.
“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,” ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said in a statement. “We are committed to our role as a convenor for the industry and look forward to sharing news about E3 in the coming months.”
As big gaming companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have abandoned E3 for solo events offsite and online, E3 has struggled to attract enough high-profile franchises and developers to fill the sprawling halls of the convention center, leaving the event feeling more empty than usual even before it went on hiatus following the covid-19 pandemic.
The ESA held a makeshift online event in 2021, but cancelled a 2022 in-person E3 before teaming up with ReedPop for a triumphant return of the storied gaming conference in 2023. That ended up following through too, however. After reports that Microsoft and other first-party platforms wouldn’t be involved, the revival seemingly collapsed at the last minute. Instead, smaller, media-only events like Summer Game Fest, helmed by Game Awards host Geoff Keighley, have been filling the void left by E3.
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