Pour one out for the “world reveals” and “world exclusives.” E3 won’t happen at all this summer, IGN reports.
For 2022, event organisers with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) didn’t plan on hosting an in-person event, citing health concerns from the then-nascent omicron variant back in January, though the initial statement never explicitly stated a digital event would happen this year.
“Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” the ESA said in a statement at the time. “We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
Kotaku reached out to the ESA for comment but did not immediately hear back.
This is the second time in three years where the ESA hasn’t held its annual hype fest. In 2020, due to the pandemic, organisers called it off. The event returned last year, albeit as an all-digital affair. Rumours swirled as early as January that E3 wouldn’t happen this year. It’s a huge blow, as E3 struggles to stay relevant amid the proliferation of unaffiliated all-digital events, like Sony’s regular State of Play showcases and Nintendo’s immensely popular, yet frustratingly sporadic, Direct streams.
But it’s in line with trends around E3’s dwindling relevance, as publishers move away from one singular week of hype and instead toward one-off events that happen throughout the year. Sony hasn’t taken part in E3 for years. Earlier this month, EA cancelled its annual showcase, EA Play Live. Instead, it’ll reveal developments about its forthcoming slate of games — like Skate 4 — in piecemeal announcements as details become ready for the public.
Minutes after word around E3’s cancellation started to spread online, Geoff Keighley, the host of Summer Game Fest and the Game Awards, and the owner of a seemingly bottomless sneaker closet, tweeted out a winky-face emoji. The Summer Game Fest Twitter account, meanwhile, reassured followers that its event will kick off with a live showcase, with details to come.