There remains an ongoing debate about whether the games industry needs E3 or not. Many publishers have taken to hosting their own independent showcases in the wake of its absence in 2020, and history is repeating itself this year. Geoff Keighley is even holding the Summer Game Fest again for the third year in a row.
As far as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is concerned, E3 still has a place and the organization has now confirmed that it will return in 2023. Plus, it’ll be both a digital and in-person event, as explained in an interview with The Washington Post.
“We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event,” said ESA president and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis, who also explained why there’ll still be an option for people to physically attend. “As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great.”
How successful E3 will be next year will depend on whether publishers agree to participate or not. With how popular and cost-effective digital presentations have proven over the past couple of years (like the Nintendo Directs), companies arguably don’t need to fly all the way to Los Angeles to promote their upcoming games. Sony already ditched the event in 2019 and hasn’t returned since.
Pierre-Louis argues that there is still room for physical, in-person events like E3, saying that he thinks “what’s great about all this experimentation is that companies of all sizes are trying to figure out what works best to promote the product and the content that they are looking to share with consumers.” Pierre-Louis continued by emphasizing the combination of physical space and digital reach.
As far as this year goes, the summer season of big game reveals has already begun thanks to Sony’s recent State of Play. The likes of Microsoft and Capcom also have their own showcases scheduled, although some like Nintendo haven’t announced any plans yet. Ubisoft, meanwhile, isn’t running a showcase until much later in the year.