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Why Was E3 Canceled? Explained!

After much speculation, it has been confirmed that E3 2023 has been officially cancelled. The industry event has been a staple of gaming for many years, and the biggest announcements and games are often revealed. With ReedPOP at the helm and a “renewed show,” 2023 was set to be a big comeback for the convention after several years of cancellations and disruption. Many people may be wondering why the event was canceled and what led to the decision to pull the plug on the return of one of gaming’s biggest events. This guide goes over the reason for and details of the E3 2023 cancellation.

Related: E3 relevance called into question as report claims Nintendo, Xbox and Sony will not be at the 2023 show

Why was E3 cancelled?

The most notable reason for the cancellation of E3 2023 is simply the lack of interest from the public and publishers. The big three publishers, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, have announced that they will not be attending E3 this year for various reasons. Sony has not participated in the show since 2018 and did not want to participate in the conference, while Nintendo stated that it did not have anything to show this year, especially with its main release, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, released in May. As for Microsoft, it was said that they were looking to cut costs. In addition to the major publishers, others such as Tencent and SEGA pulled out along with Ubisoft, who were initially scheduled to attend before changing their minds.

Rather than attend, the other Big Three and developers and publishers chose to host their own events and shows around the same time, another reason that likely contributed to the cancellation. Since 2019, E3 has seen disruptions and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in that time, we’ve seen the rise of digital events and showcase shows hosted by publishers themselves.

This includes the popular Summer Games Festival, which organizer and host Geoff Quigley states was created as a solution to what he felt was wrong and missing from E3. With their events and shows, they are in control of how their games are displayed and promoted, potentially at a lower cost. After several years of doing it without E3, why does he see the need to go back?

Despite its cancellation, ESA and ReedPOP have stated that they will continue to work on future E3 events, but whether or not that comes to fruition, given the event’s growing apathy, doesn’t look good for the turbulent event industry.

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