The E3 2023 gaming expo has been cancelled

31 Mar 2023

A billboard at E3 2012. Image: jeriaska (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The conference was due to return in June after years of Covid-19 pandemic disruptions, but the organisers said interested companies are facing ‘resourcing challenges’.

E3, the annual gaming conference hosted in Los Angeles, has been cancelled this year.

The gaming expo hosted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed the decision on Twitter, with both the physical and virtual events getting scrapped.

The event was due to make a return after years of disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused E3 2020 to be cancelled.

The expo returned in digital form in 2021 but was cancelled again last year. During the 2022 announcement however, the ESA confirmed that E3 would return this year and be co-produced by event company ReedPop.

In a statement shared with IGN, ReedPop global gaming VP Kyle Marsden-Kish said the “difficult decision” was made to do “what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3”.

“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,” Marsden-Kish said.

The event’s closure this year will cause disruption for the gaming industry, as E3 has been a key expo where the video game giants such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo announce their upcoming devices and key game titles. The gaming conference first began in 1995.

Gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the Wii U have been announced at previous E3 expos. The event also gives smaller independent game developers a chance to market their upcoming games.

The event took a clear hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but was facing lower exhibitor numbers prior to 2020 based on statistics compiled by IGN. E3 2015 had more than 300 exhibitors but only 207 in 2019, despite a higher number of attendees.

With the absence of E3, gaming companies like Sony and Nintendo will likely reveal their upcoming titles in livestream events, which was the practice during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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A billboard at E3 2012. Image: jeriaska via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic