The ESA won’t be hosting an E3 2022 event this year whatsoever. This means that there is no physical in-person event taking place nor a digital streaming online event. The Entertainment Software Association says that the company is working on rebooting the expo, which takes place in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, into a larger in-person and digital event for 2023.
We kinda knew this was going to happen. Rumours of the event’s cancellation have been swirling online for months now. The big factor in play is, of course, the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic which still has major health risks involved in hosting a real-person event to the scale of E3.
While the world is “almost” over the COVID-19 hurdle, events aren’t ready to take place. E3 especially plays host to over 300k visitors including media, exhibitors and even some fans. Due to the recent omicron outbreak, the ESA was forced to delay E3 2022 planning to a later stage but at this rate, the show won’t go on.
In a statement, the ESA says:
“We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022. Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer.”
This marks the third year without an annual E3 expo and the ESA. The big question still remains. Is E3 still a relevant event? With Sony’s State of Play and Nintendo’s reliance on Direct streams, the ESA’s relevance in the industry remains up in the air.
The past few years have proven that you don’t need to have a real-person event to share the news of new games and hardware with the world. In fact, Sony and Microsoft both launched two new consoles without the help of the ESA whatsoever. While I love attending E3 and hope it comes back, the ESA desperately needs help from big publishers to pull off next year’s event.