Update on March 31st, 2023: Unfortunately, E3 2023 is canceled.
The official announcement happened on March 30th, just days after we published the article below, which analyzed which developers and publishers are going to E3 2023.
After years of trying to survive Covid disruption, the biggest video games event in the world was canceled – yet again. E3 2019 was the last E3 that happened in a physical location, and gathered 66,000 attendees to celebrate the biggest games of the year.
From the statement put out by Reedpop, the new event organizer, and the ESA:
“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.”
E3 2023 is still on track to be a physical event like in the golden days but is anyone attending it?
On March 27th, 2023, Ubisoft released a statement saying they’re going “in a different direction”. That direction? The same one other major game developers and publishers took, and it’s not toward E3 2023.
According to VCG, in February Ubisoft said it will attend E3 2023, which will happen, like in previous years, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Now, according to the statement issued to the same outlet, Ubisoft said it will “move in a different direction” and host its own Ubisoft Forward Live event on the same day, on June 12 in Los Angeles.
In recent times, Sony has preferred to talk to their fans during the Sony State of Play and Nintendo makes most of their announcements during Nintendo Direct conferences, so what’s left?
E3 2023: Trouble behind the scenes?
As with previous E3 events, the first two days were usually reserved for big game publisher announcements, then the event opened its gates to gamers, cosplayers and people wanting a few days of fun. As you know, last year many people were looking forward to E3 2022 but the event was eventually canceled abruptly – and this year was supposed to be the big return.
When is E3 2023?
Traditionally, Electronic Entertainment Expo happened in June and E3 2023 is set to happen starting between June 11 and June 16.
However, if you want to buy E3 2023 tickets, on the official website there’s only a button saying “coming soon”, so trouble does seem to be brewing. E3 Gamer Days, aka the days of the event with open doors for the general public, were set on June 15 and June 16.
What we know is that it’s almost April and you can’t buy E3 2023 tickets three months in advance.
If you also look at the E3 2023 website, the schedule consists of just a timeline of days and opening hours, with no game publisher or developer listed yet.
Now, with Ubisoft making their own announcements in their own event, on the day E3 2023 is supposed to host all the major announcements, odds are E3 2023 is canceled as well.
What happened at E3 2023? What we do know:
- PlayStation will not be at E3 2023
- Nintendo will not be at E3 2023
- Microsoft, who owns Bethesda as well, will not be at E3 2023
- Xbox will not be at E3 2023, but it did say it will have some announcements to make in June.
- Now Ubisoft will not attend E3 2023.
E3 2023’s new organizer, company ReedPop, had announced earlier this month that the event had commitments from “AAA companies, in addition to indie darlings and tech and hardware firms”, though it seems like AAA companies are coming. ReedPop also owns a large media network, having sites like RockPaperShotgun, GamesIndustry.biz, Eurogamer and VG247 under its umbrella.
According to VGC, E3 2023’s Digital Week will start on Sunday, June 11th, with outside digital events like The PC Gaming Show, Future Games Show, Guerilla Collective, and Black Voices in Gaming.
Considering Ubisoft also pulled out of this event, there’s no telling which other companies might follow suit. After all, most game developers, especially indie ones, made the effort to participate in E3 to benefit from the huge publicity generated around the big publishers.
If those smaller companies are going their own way too, it’s likely that the status of E3 2023 is canceled.
Why was E3 2022 canceled?
E3 2022 was officially canceled in late March, after months of rumors. The organizer back then, the ESA, pulled the plug not just on the physical E3 but also on the digital E3 event, which debuted in 2020 as a way to still offer the event while most of the world was in lockdowns and had a decent showing in 2021.
With E3 2022 canceled, gamers had to split their time between multiple E3 alternative conferences and many game companies migrated to Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest Live event, which falls under the umbrella of The Game Awards.
Considering the troubled run of E3 since 2019, ReedPop has a major challenge ahead to revive this brand, once known as the gathering place of the games industry.