To say that the Electronic Entertainment Expo has had a rough decade would be an understatement. At one point, about a decade ago, it was unfathomable that anyone would want to miss E3. It was the biggest gaming event of the year. It had media coverage on both the internet and television via multiple channels. However, slowly, things started to change, and not for the better. First, it became harder to get into, and then the developers didn’t want to come to the show for one reason or another. Then, the pandemic shut down the show for three years straight, and on it went. Now, E3 2023 went from looking like a “return to form” to becoming another “disaster waiting to happen.”
That’s because yesterday it was reported that Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony were all going to ditch the conference for one reason or another. That’s a big blow to the event because there had always been at least one of the Big 3 at the show to help bring people to the show, whether in person or by watching from home. However, that won’t happen this year. In a statement received by IGN, the team behind E3 2023 had this to say:
“E3 has a rich history within our industry, and we are always heartened to feel the passion for the show and hear what it means to different people. Reviving a tradeshow after a three-year hiatus and a global pandemic was always going to have its challenges, which is why we conducted an extensive search (in consultation with the ESA member companies) to identify the best partner to produce E3. In selecting ReedPOP as our partner, we have been able to tap into their rich history of hosting popular industry events, like PAX, and broader consumer shows, like Comic Con.”
ReedPOP is indeed behind some of the biggest Comic Cons in the United States, but whether they can help E3 become what it once was is a bit of a stretch right now.
Can the convention survive without the Big 3? It depends on who else shows up. They’ll need other companies to show, like Ubisoft, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, and others on that level. They need reasons for people to come.
But for some, losing the Big 3 was a “final straw.” We personally know of people who planned to go to E3 2023 but canceled their plans after that report went live.
So unless something big happens, the show could be DOA by the time June arrives.