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E3 is Dead and ESA Offers the Lamest Possible Reason

ESA LiesThe Entertainment Software Association has officially canceled E3 2023.

According to an email sent by ESA to its members that has been widely quoted in the media:

This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3. We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.

E3 was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and did not return in 2021.  In 2022, the event was canceled again but ESA trumpeted its triumphal return in 2023:

“We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event,” ESA president and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis told The Washington Post in an interview. “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.”

Or not.

The rather lame announcement seems to cast blame on publishers who “wouldn’t have playable demos ready”.

This is absurd.

We’re made to believe that the whole world was ready to have E3 but the world’s largest software publishers just couldn’t get their presentations ready in time.  As if they were hard at work (presumably since ESA announced 2023 was a go), but gosh darn it they just got behind.

Does anyone believe this?

Here’s an alternative explanation: post-pandemic, publishers realized that demos, advertising, influencers, and online events were enough for them to sell their products.  Turns out that flying people and art to big convention center and taking a chunk of people out of the normal development cycle to “get a demo ready for E3” doesn’t really have the payback it used to in the 90s.  And while we’re at it, other than as an industry group to fob off on the media and congressional inquiries, why exactly are we paying ESA dues?

Does anyone really think E3 2024 is going to happen?




  1. Mitchell M:

    Sounds to me like while everyone was working from home, there was a bit more Netflix and blazing going on than actual work.

    April 1, 2023 @ 3:15 pm | Reply
  2. Writing technical articles that are published on LowEndBox with the goal of assisting readers in maximizing the potential of their setups is a hobby of mine.

    April 2, 2023 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

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