Some E3 invites went out via email earlier today, with eagle-eyed visitors to the official site noticing that the current list of exhibitors for the 2008 show is much leaner than last year's. Missing from the E3 line up are notable (and huge) publishers like Activision, Atlus, Bethesda Softworks, Majesco, NCsoft, Vivendi Games and Warner Bros. Interactive. Yes, Activision will not be in attendance at E3 this year, as it tells Gaming Nexus that "for business reasons Activision has decided not to participate in any official E3 activities."
That could easily be perceived as a blow to the ESA run show, as the biggest North American publisher sits out the premiere video game exhibition. After moving from the Los Angeles Convention Centre to various locations spread out across Santa Monica, it's limping back to its former home. It's unknown if the glitz and grime of its former incarnation will return, but we're thankful that it won't follow the format of E3 2007.
Please note that the statement says "official" E3 activities, leaving the publisher open to hold its own event during or near the show, as publisher Gamecock did last year. Activision obviously has plenty of wares to show, but may feel like the current E3 isn't in its best interests for financial or media attention reasons.
We contacted Activision reps to find out more but were given the same official response.
Activision officially out of E3 [Gaming Nexus]