The fate of E3 has been up in the air ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2020, parent company ESA announced that they’d be skipping E3 that year, before bringing the event back in digital format in 2021. However, it wasn’t exactly great. Recently, the ESA confirmed that they will be cancelling their planned in-person event for E3 2022, but it looks like an online event might be cancelled too.
According to VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, who has a history of reputable leaks and insider information, E3 may not host a digital-only event this year. Speaking on his TikTok account, Grubb stated that the digital event is “probably also cancelled.” While this hasn’t been confirmed by the ESA yet, it seems highly likely that E3 won’t go through with another online event this year.
There are several factors as to why this could be the case. Most publishers and major studios like Ubisoft, PlayStation and Xbox have resorted to hosting their own digital presentations throughout the year – and it’s probably a more cost-effective solution too as E3 requires an entry fee for publishers. Furthermore, publishers are able to freely coordinate their events on their own terms instead of being limited to E3’s window every year.
While Xbox still took part in E3 last year (and arguably delivered the best show), most publishers had nothing to offer that couldn’t be shown or discussed at other digital events throughout the year. PlayStation once again bowed out of hosting an E3 presentation in 2021, as they chose to focus on their own isolated events and State of Play showcases.
If the ESA doesn’t go forward with an online event this year, it could possibly mean the end of E3 for the foreseeable future. At the moment, it’s difficult for event coordinators to forecast COVID-19 spikes, so nothing is really set in stone as plans could change at the last minute. The Omicron variant continues to impact international in-person events, and while some were somewhat successful at hosting live events again (namely The Game Awards and CES), E3 being an in-person event again might be a pipedream.
Source: Jeff Grubb