E3 2022 will be an online-only event, the ESA confirms

The Omicron variant strikes again.

Image via ESA

After last year’s E3, there was the hope of seeing a return to a full-fledged event once 2022 rolled around. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented that from becoming a reality. The virus hasn’t slowed down due to the rise of the Omicron variant, signaling potential risks had it returned to business as usual.

The Entertainment Software Association, the body responsible for planning E3, has announced that E3 2022 will be an online-only event yet again. In a statement released to GamesBeat, the ESA stated that the event wouldn’t be in person due to the “potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees.” The ESA will announce further details regarding the event in the months ahead.

This marks the second year in a row of an online-only E3. The decision may be shocking to some as not every industry trade show has adopted the online-only model. This year’s CES, for example, decided to run the show as usual in spite of the associated risks and criticisms.

While proof of vaccination was required for entry into this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, this does not fully prevent the possibility of transmission. Regardless, it’s far too early to speculate on whether the Electronic Entertainment Expo will be able to return to normal by 2023.