World’s biggest gaming expo E3 cancelled amid declining faith, participation

Apr 3, 2023 | Culture

The gaming world’s biggest expo, E3, has announced that its 2023 show has been cancelled in Los Angeles.

E3 had been set for a huge comeback this year, but several things reportedly did not go according to plan with a number of companies announcing that they would not be attending.

Tech giant Sony, said they wouldn’t be there. Shortly afterward, Nintendo and Ubisoft followed suit. Before long, Microsoft, Sega, and Tencent also announced they would not be attending.

For E3, several years of mismanagement and security breaches shattered the trust attendees originally had in the multi-day event.

“There was a leak at E3 where the identification and phone numbers of all the members were released,” said Stephen Ramlogan, captain of the Humber Esports Smash Ultimate team.

“And you know that most of them were content creators and reporters. So these names are known, and people would go after them just for the sake of doing it,” he said.

With faith in the event shattered, it was no surprise that E3 struggled to build momentum, he said.

Ramlogan, who goes by ‘NEO!’, said that the decisions companies made to pull out of E3 make sense from a business perspective.

“With Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox, they have to make big investments to be a part of E3. But they realize that privilege isn’t exactly a privilege anymore. I think they’ve recognized that the more efficient way of disclosing information about games is on their own platforms, and you can gain revenue from it,” he said.

“I’m actually a business student so I kind of understand the business decision behind it,” he said.

The Entertainment Software Association and event company ReedPop said in an email statement, verified by IGN, that in light of the pullouts, E3 didn’t get the support necessary to go ahead.

“It 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,” the company said.

E3 had been unable to host an event since 2019 when the first years of the COVID pandemic shut down public events throughout the world.

Despite attempts to come back in 2021 and 2022, E3 was still unable to restart its yearly event.

The last memory of E3 for many fans was Keanu Reeves’ heartwarming showcase of Cyberpunk 2077.

“You’re all breathtaking!” he said, after being called breathtaking himself by a fan in the crowd.

Now with E3 canceled again, some view it as the death of an inclusive community.

“The soul has definitely been destroyed,” Ramlogan said. “There’s a lot less love in the gaming industry. I feel like more people are feeling less attached to titles these days.”

Ramlogan said that there is still hope for gaming communities, since there are other startup events rising to try and contend with E3’s fading star.

For now, however, he said that that sense of community is waving, as the fate of community gaming events faces an uncertain future.

“I feel like the sense of a community has gone away and it feels like more of an upload button on the trailer rather than a developer speaking to us on a personal level.”