The online event for E3 2022 may now have been canceled too. The news comes from games journalist Jeff Grubb who uploaded a new video to his YouTube channel and said that the digital version of the event is “probably” canceled. The physical event was officially canceled earlier this month due to the ongoing pandemic and concerns around the Omicron variant of COVID-19. This year’s cancellation marks the third year in a row with no physical E3 event.
E3 online being canceled this year might not be a surprise to everyone. E3 2021 was a digital-only event that left many gamers disappointed. Not with the announcements but with how the ESA ran the event. There was little cohesion between announcements and E3 being an actual event. Publishers and developers followed a general E3 schedule but the official E3 website was sparse. There was very little point to any of the events actually being connected to E3. This resulted in E3 being labeled everything from a flop to a bust.
When the ESA canceled the physical E3 event earlier this month many wondered if the event will ever return. The news that an online event may not happen either adds credence to that worry. Even before COVID, E3 was waning in relevance. E3 2019, the last physical event, was the first that Sony decided to skip in the history of the trade show. Prior to that, other publishers and developers have also started skipping the show in recent years and hosting their own events. Even the companies that do still attend are announcing less than in the past. Nintendo has found great success with its Nintendo Direct model of announcements. Although the company still attends E3 (when it takes place that is) it announces far more games throughout the year via Nintendo Directs than it does at the show.
If E3 2022 is completely canceled, it’s hard to imagine the show will ever come back.