First, the ESA confirmed that E3 would be an online-only, digital event. Days later, it was reported that the digital conference would be canceled as well, resulting in a fully E3-less year. Now those reports have been proven true.
The confirmation comes from multiple sources. One of the first notices came from Razer PR lead Will Powers, who tweeted about receiving an email with the news. “Mixed feelings,” as Powers puts it, seem to be a common thread. Big-time gaming YouTuber TmarTn is quite down about the news, calling it the “end of an era” in another tweet. Shortly after, IGN confirmed the news with its own sources, who added that the ESA aims to bring the show back in 2023.
Ever the opportunist, Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley followed up the news with a promotion of his own E3-like event, Summer Game Fest. Last year, Keighley’s streams went head to head with E3 and featured announcements from PlayStation, Xbox, Square Enix, and more. You should expect the same from the Summer Game Fest this year too, especially without its chief competitor around.
Of course, this isn’t the first time E3 has been canceled: Covid-19 concerns shut the show down in summer 2019. Something feels different about this one though, invoking the idea of baseball’s three strikes. Should E3 not return in 2023, it may be out for good — if it’s not already.