E3 2022 cancelled, now what?

It is official: E3 2022 has been cancelled with no physical or digital event taking place.

"We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022", ESA said in a statement on March 31. "Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalised physical and digital E3 experience next summer. Whether enjoyed from the show floor or your favourite devices, the 2023 showcase will bring the community, media, and industry back together in an all-new format and interactive experience."

But, is that the real reason behind this decision?

Closing the curtains?

At the beginning of the last decade, E3 was the powerhouse for game reveals and announcements. In the years that followed, however, a series of events came to a head. Nintendo was the first of the big three platformers to stop holding keynote presentations in 2013. Since then, Nintendo has held its own "Nintendo Direct" to make announcements and reveal new games on its own schedule. Sony followed suit in 2019 and has since held its own presentations called PlayStation State of Play.

The relevance of E3 was questioned even before the coronavirus pandemic. But in March 2020, the ESA announced that E3 2020 would be cancelled, and the show ceased to exist in any form. A number of other shows, including Gamescom, GDC and PAX, were all affected in some way. But E3's traditional position as a press event rather than a trade show aimed at gamers or developers opened up the scene to others who wanted to attend.

Still, E3 is facing increasing competition as fewer and fewer major publishers are willing to use it as a platform. While the ESA will cite COVID -19 as the main reason for cancelling E3 2022, there is much more at stake here, namely the event's declining importance and dominance in the modern video game landscape.

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