Why Was E3 Canceled? Explained

What led to the comeback show’s cancelation?

Image via E3

After much speculation, it’s been confirmed that E3 2023 has been canceled. The event has been a staple in the gaming industry for many years, often where the biggest announcements and games reveal occurred. With ReedPOP at the helm and a “revitalized showcase,” 2023 was set to be the convention’s big comeback after several years of cancelations and disruptions. Many in the gaming community may wonder why the event was canceled and what led to the decision to pull the plug on the return of one of gaming’s most significant events. This guide goes over the reason and details of why E3 2023 has been canceled.

Related: E3’s relevancy is questioned as a report claims Nintendo, Xbox, and Sony won’t be in 2023 showcase

Why was E3 canceled?

The most notable reason for E3 2023’s cancelation is a lack of interest from the public and publishers. All three of the major publishers, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, had announced they wouldn’t not be attending this year’s E3. Sony has not participated in the show since 2018 and wanted to avoid attending this year’s convention. Nintendo stated they have nothing to showcase this year, especially with their major release, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, releasing in May. As for Microsoft, they reportedly have been looking to cut costs. In addition to the major publishers, others such as Tencent and SEGA pulled out alongside Ubisoft, who initially were set to attend before changing their minds.

Instead of attending, the big three and other developers and publishers have opted to host their own events and showcases around the same time, another reason that likely contributed to the cancelation. Since 2019, E3 has seen disruption and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in that time, we have seen the rise of digital events and showcases hosted by video game publishers.

This includes the popular Summer Game Fest, whose organizer and host Geoff Keighley has stated was created as a solution to what he felt was wrong and missing from E3. With their own event and showcases, they control how they show and promote their games for a likely smaller cost. After several years of doing that without E3, why would that see a need to go back?

Despite E3 2023 cancelation, the ESA and ReedPOP have stated they will continue to work on future E3 events, but whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen. Given the growing apathy for the event, it’s not looking suitable for the troubled industry event.