The news that E3 2023 has been cancelled is only a few hours old, and we are honestly kind of still reeling. Sure, we knew that the venerable industry event had an uphill battle ahead of it, with publishers pulling out left and right, but it still seems kind of surreal, you know?

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) executive director Stanley Pierre-Louis explains what happened and what we can expect next. For the first in-person event in several years, the ESA partnered with event coordinator ReedPop, and Pierre-Louis explains that "we were off to a strong start. There was interest among exhibitors, industry players, media and certainly the fans. Ultimately, however, there were challenges that proved too large to surmount."

One of these insurmountable challenges was the current development timelines studios have been facing since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and another is the resulting economic turbulence businesses have faced the world over. With less money to go around, some companies have begun to rethink investing in expensive booth space and massive marketing events.

On the subject of E3 returning in 2024, Pierre-Louis sticks to the script, stating that "we're committed to providing an industry platform for marketing and convening, but we want to make sure we find that right balance that meets the needs of the industry. We're certainly going to be listening and ensuring whatever we want to offer meets those needs, and at that time, we will have more news to share."

His answer is completely non-commital, as you might expect. For our two cents, we would suggest it seems like the era of E3 is over. With so many cheaper and more effective ways of getting the word out about upcoming games and projects, not to mention public hesitance following a devastating pandemic, the writing has been on the wall for a long time now. We just hope Sony has been saving the goods for that Showcase we have all been waiting for.

Do you think we will see a return to E3 someday, or are the glory days of convention-going truly behind us? Fire off your red-hot takes in the comments section below.

[source gamesindustry.biz]