And that may be the final nail in the coffin, folks! Ubisoft, one of the few remaining publishers that had shown interest in attending E3 2023, has officially pulled out. The French firm had committed to the convention earlier in the year, promising it had a big slate of software to show. But in a statement to VGC, it’s today said it’s decided to “move in a different direction”, and will instead host its own Ubisoft Forward livestream on 12th June, independently from the event.
“E3 has fostered unforgettable moments across the industry throughout the years,” a spokesperson said. “While we initially intended to have an official E3 presence, we’ve made the subsequent decision to move in a different direction, and will be holding a Ubisoft Forward Live event on 12th June in Los Angeles. We look forward to sharing more details with our players very soon.”
Reed Pop, the organisers of E3 2023, have yet to comment – but in a statement sent to us in mid-February, it said it would “have news to share in the next few weeks on some of the exciting new additions to the remastered E3 2023”. It’s obviously been over a month since then.
Sony famously pulled out of E3 several years ago, but Microsoft and Nintendo have also decided to give this year’s event a swing. That doesn’t mean the summer will be devoid of gaming news, however: Geoff Keighley’s very own Summer Game Fest is still scheduled to go ahead, and most major publishers and platform holders are plotting their own independent presentations in June.
I know you guys are affiliated with ReedPop but seriously, WTF has ReedPop been doing with their revised E3, if they never had any info on who would attend, couldn't convince the majors to come back in, and now the ones they did convince to come back in are leaving? Yet.....still going to be in LA that week, but not at E3.
It sounds to me like there's still some big story about ESA and their continued handling of things that have made a mess of things even where RP tried to salvage it. It doesn't make sense companies that wanted to be in, are now out, but still going to LA simultaneously doing a show. It's all too weird, and clearly not "expense of doing a big show" related.
E3 was already dead. The ESA has just been dragging around the corpse trying to make look like it was still alive, Weekend at Bernie’s style.
There is absolutely no reason for any publisher or hardware maker to align themselves with E3 this day in age, when you can reach your audience by shooting some footage and pressing a button to upload it to YouTube. There is no reason for E3 to exist — at least not the way it was.
It's officially dead folks!
It was always going to happen really.
Not much point when big business can do it's own thing. Sony aren't perfect but they do alright with SOP, so not much point.
It now looks like a number of big players are following suit.
I don't think E3 will be missed too much.
@NEStalgia To be fair to Reed Pop, there's nothing they can do if the publishers don't want to come. I think everyone's just collectively realised E3 is a waste of money: they can control the message, get 100% of the attention, and even save a lot by doing events/livestreams themselves.
A true shame what's happened to E3. I really so miss it dearly 😢. But alas now there is no hope.
@Korgon There's plenty of hope. Companies just want to do their own thing, instead of wasting a ton of money to appear at an event they don't need to.
Showcasing your stuff can be done far more simply now, at far less of a cost.
It's not a big deal really, E3 was always heading this way.
E3 has been dead ever since the rise of the directs. No faffing about, bo long winded speeches about stuff that isnt gameplay, no celebs, just 30 to 60 mins of gameplay with the odd person turning up for a min.
@get2sammyb Convincing publishers to come was their task, though. And even where they succeded (Ubisoft) they then lost them anyway. Expense and attention doesn't really explain it, as in Ubisoft's case, they're spending the money anyway, going to the same place, at the same time, to do basically the same presentation, simply without Reed Pop and ESA involved where previously they intended to. It seems there's something else still behind the scenes, probably ESA and not Reed Pop related, but it doesn't really add up.
Really a shame, though. E3 shows were always so exciting to watch, these directs are so boring I don't even notice they exist anymore.
Hopefully we get some news about all these new AC games at that time. Really looking forward to seeing if Mirage is a legit return to form.
I suspect this may also be due to the fact that some major titles they have in the pipeline are rumored to be delayed including mirage (which oddly enough runs on a 2019 version of the anvil engine). Ubisoft is clueless.
That being said, I do think the idea that these developer directs and these tailored little video showcases that amount to very little more than deceptive gameplay videos or trailers is not the better option. It feels like a corporate marketing video almost every time and far less of a showcase of any kind. SONYS in particular have been varying degrees of garbage. CDPR used the format to essentially lie for the better part of a year about the features and state of their game.
Not only was there something a little more magical about seeing developers get up on stage in a live setting and talk about their game and you see the passion but having those gameplay booths and playable demos and things like that that people could actually get their hands on was a lot better than seeing the deception that goes on in these tailored marketing ploys.
It fostered passionate community building and also in a way kept developers and their overlords a little more accountable.
@KundaliniRising333 Totally agreed. I know a lot of people say the new presentations are "better" and "cut just to the part they care about without fluff" but I too see it as little more than a commercial/marketing video. And as such I'm not really interested in dedicated my time to make sure to watch a marketing video/trailer. The big presentations were raw, real, and interesting to see. Glorified 30 minute commercials are not interesting, and are partially insulting to be asked to go out of your way to watch. Might as well ditch them and go back to nothing but conventional paid banner ads and TV spots.
Oh don't misunderstand. I get why companies have pulled out of E3. The ESA brought the downfall of E3 mostly on themselves. However, State of Plays, Nintendo Directs, Ubisoft Forwards, etcetera just don't got the same soul without a stage presentation.
Yes there were plenty of cringy parts, duds of presentations, and goofy gaffes. But there really is nothing more exciting in the game industry than seeing a really well planned exciting game reveal. God of War 2018's E3 reveal was extremely exciting, and I don't think any State of Play, Nintendo Direct, Playstation Showcase, etcetera will ever be able to capture that same feeling.
At some point, someone's going to cut their losses and pull the plug. It's clearly no longer worth the effort it once was. Which is a shame really, because the stage and the industry bigwigs nobody has heard of outside of gaming had more of an oomph to it. Like it was something on a far grander scale than it really was.
That's a huge loss for E3 especially as Ubi have a new AC game, Avatar game and whatever else to show off. So Ubi, MS and Nintendo have pulled out damn that's a gut punch for E3, i predict this year will be its last.
The key here is hosting their own event at the same time, that's a direct middle finger to E3, ESA & ReedPop. It's sad E3 is going down but I'm just happy we all got to enjoy so many of them.
I really hope Sony does a live event again, just watch the God of War E3 2016 reveal, THAT is what these events are made for!
I hope no one goes to the ubisoft event or watches live.
Two garbage companies not being able to benefit off of each other, truly a sad moment
@NEStalgia @Korgon I very much agree. Even when an event was bad, I had a presenter to cringe at. It was a bad you wanted to talk about later. No one wants to talk about a bad state of play, we just forgot it within a couple hours.
It lacks personality and feels pointless to watch “live” as you said.
I honestly haven’t been as excited to go pre-order games since the change.
Nothing has been as memorable or as exciting since some of Sony’s amazing showcases. You can’t match “the PS4 plays used games” without a live presentation like that, you just can’t.
Regardless of how I feel towards Ubisoft these days they made the most sensible choice in this case.
The only real shocker here is that ESA still hasn't officially declared E3 dead at this point.
@get2sammyb 100% especially right NOW with belt tightening exercises, and jobs on the line. Would they rather spend millions on an E3 event, or do their own livestream for a fraction of the cost and save some money/jobs. It's the right call for 90% of companies.
@Korgon I agree that at their best a good stage presentation was thrilling, not least the live crowd added to the atmosphere.
But the hard reality is cost v return is just not there anymore. It costs an insane amount of money to exhibit at E3. It cost millions to both book a giant booth (with all associated costs, staff, accommodation, travel, shipping, etc.) and have a giant in person conference (with all associated costs, stage rental, staff, orchestra etc.).
Money is simply better spent elsewhere, especially right now with current state of economies and jobs on the line.
Yup like I said I get why companies aren't showing up anymore. It doesn't make financial sense anymore to go to E3 but just personally I'm going to miss it. The press conferences were a blast to watch with friends and family.
Another great E3 memory came when Devil May Cry 5 got announced. My brother and I are huge DMC fans and we lost our friggin minds when we realized what was being shown! It was awesome! But the new digital showcase events just never get that same reaction. I'm still excited to see a new game I'm pumped for but without a live audience it just doesn't feel the same.
It reminds me of watching sports during the hight of Covid. I still enjoy the sport but without the crowd it loses something that can't be described.
@Korgon Agree with all you have said. That fan excitement is hard to replace. For example I'll never forget watching Sony's E3 2015 when they finally announced The Last Guardian release, Announced Final Fantasy 7 Remake and then Shenmue 3, everyone went mental, the energy was insane! Thinking about it still makes the hairs on my arm stand on end. (Not forgetting Horizon's first reveal, Hitman, Dreams, No Man's Sky blowing our collective minds and Uncharted 4. Sony E3 2015 was one for the ages!)
But what I would say is that the live conferences didn't start off this good, they grew into it over many years, and that was the peak. I think the all-digital conferences have some room to grow too, if we give them time.
But I will miss the live reactions... now to be shared on Twitch 💀 (Though perhaps that is an opportunity for someone to create an innovative app that brings all the people's voices/excitement together to celebrate united once again)
The other thing I will miss most, and already do, is the live orchestra. I love hearing VG music played live.
That all folks for e3
It definitely seems like E3's days are numbered.
@Impossibilium I suspect there might be some behind the scenes drama explaining all of this.
@KidBoruto Yes, most certainly. The main thing probably being money (because of course it is).
E3 charges publishers hundreds of thousands of dollars to put a booth on their show floor. Or, at least, they did, when E3 was actually relevant. If they’re still asking for that kinda cash, anyone would nope outta that.
@Impossibilium As it turned out, E3 was officially canceled!
Also definitely the expensive booths played into the decision.
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