E3 2023 canceled after practically everyone dropped out

Philip Trahan
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The Entertainment Software Association has announced that E3 2023 has been cancelled following several major publishers backing out.

In July of 2022, the Entertainment Software Association, or simply the ESA, announced that E3 would return in 2023 with an in-person event following global events that prevented large in-person gatherings.

Unfortunately, massive publishers like Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony pulled out of the event, which left many fans skeptical of what announcements and showcases would actually take place without such big names involved.

Now, the ESA has confirmed that E3 2023 is officially canceled, leaving the future of the massive event uncertain.

Why was E3 2023 canceled?

According to emails received by IGN, the ESA said that while E3 “remains a beloved event and brand” this year’s version of the convention, “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry.”

Shortly after the news broke, the official E3 Twitter account confirmed the news in a statement that said: “ReedPop and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have announced that both the digital and physical events for E3 2023 are canceled.”

Additionally, the ESA released its own independent statement, which called the cancellation a “difficult decision…,” but felt the organization “had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3.”

The association shed light on the reason behind the cancellation and noted, “We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome.”

The ESA concluded its statement with an apology to those companies who committed to attending E3 2023 before its cancellation.

Ironically, news that E3 2022’s digital event was officially canceled broke on March 31, 2022, as many still faced challenges from 2020’s global situation.

Only time will tell if ReedPop and the ESA have plans to try to hold another E3 event in 2024, but with competition from Geoff Keighley’s successful Summer Game Fest event and many publishers simply holding their own digital events during June, this may very well spell the end of E3 as a whole.

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