E3 Is Officially Dead, Press ‘F’ To Pay Respects

E3 Is Officially Dead, Press ‘F’ To Pay Respects

E3, the video game conference that’s taken place annually in Los Angeles since 1995, is officially dead. After several years of struggles and rumors of its demise, its end was confirmed in The Washington Post’s exclusive interview with president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Stanley Pierre-Louis.

Pierre-Louis told WaPo that “after more than two decades of hosting an event that has served as a central showcase for the U.S. and global video game industry,” E3 would be no more. This comes after the covid pandemic forced the ESA (the nonprofit trade association of the video game industry) to cancel E3 2020, go all-digital for E3 2021, and then cancel E3 2022, as well. This year’s event was also canceled, as were those for 2024 and 2025, igniting rumors that it would never return, that it was killed by companies reducing their presence at the event, that The Game Awards’ host and producer Geoff Keighley relished its absence as it drew more attention to his Summer Game Fest.

But just as recently as September of this year, E3 organizers were promising a reinvented showcase would come in a few years. “While the reach of E3 remains unmatched in our industry, we are continuing to explore how we can evolve it to best serve the video game industry and are evaluating every aspect of the event, from format to location,” Pierre-Louis said then in a statement. “We are committed to our role as a convenor for the industry and look forward to sharing news about E3 in the coming months.”

Now, however, it appears that the ESA’s efforts to reinvent the show were fruitless. “We know the entire industry, players and creators alike, have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion,” Pierre-Louis told WaPo. “We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

He confirmed what many have suggested contributed to the end of the conference, saying that “companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.” E3 was once the pinnacle of game reveals, giving us classic moments like the public debut of then-president of Nintendo Reggie Fils-Aimé, the launch price reveal of the PlayStation, and, of course, Ikumi Nakamura.

The official website for the event has been replaced with a screen that simply reads, “After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye. Thanks for the memories. GGWP.” The event’s official Twitter account shared the message as well.

Despite this death of E3 representing the end of an era, Pierre-Louis is optimistic. “Any one of these major companies can create an individual showcase … [and] also partner with other industry events to showcase the breadth of games,” he told WaPo. “That’s exciting for our industry, and it means it’s an opportunity for them to explore how to engage new audiences in different ways.”

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