The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has reassured fans that it is committed to returning a physical E3 event in 2023. The ESA stopped the long-running gaming spectacle in 2020 amidst concerns of health risks thanks to Covid-19 along with restrictions brought in place regarding the congregation of large amounts of people.
E3 was seemingly set to return this year but the ESA cancelled the entire event (including digital) again citing “ongoing health risks surrounding Covid-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees”. Though, the ESA has confirmed that the exhibition will return in 2023.
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This message was affirmed by ESA President, Stan Pierre-Louis, in an interview published by the Washington Poston on Tuesday.
“We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event.
As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great.”
With the absence of E3, Geoff Keighley’s (The Game Awards) Summer Game Fest has somewhat filled in the gap with “events, activities and updates for fans from more than 30 partners”. Still, this doesn’t exactly make up for the lack of E3 which has become the mecca for every gamer, whether attending physically or digitally.
“I think what’s great about all this experimentation is that companies of all sizes are trying to figure out what works best to promote the product and the content that they are looking to share with consumers.
And I think there is a space for a physical show; I think there’s an importance of having digital reach. Combining those two, I think there is a critical element of what we think E3 can provide.”
Summer Games Fest kicks off on 9 June 2022 at 8PM SAST and will focus on already announced games rather than rely solely on unannounced titles. Summer Games Fest will also bring back a much-missed E3 feature in the form of extended gameplay demos.
Source: Washington Post