E3 2023’s cancellation has fans sharing their favourite memories of the show

The Witcher booth at and on E3 and the E3 2023 logo.
Credit: Radek Grabowski and E3 on Twitter.

The Witcher booth at and on E3 and the E3 2023 logo.
Credit: Radek Grabowski and E3 on Twitter.

Despite being a long-time staple of the games industry, E3 had been facing an increasingly uncertain future for a little while now, with many large companies and publishers, including Xbox and Playstation, having reportedly elected not to include it in their plans.

While the show hadn’t taken the form of a physical, in-person conference since 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was to make a triumphant return in June this year under the stewardship of events company Reedpop.

However, with a new report from IGN’s Rebekah Valentine having confirmed that the 2023 edition of the conference has now been cancelled, many industry figures have decided to share their favourite memories from its past editions.

How do you feel about E3 2023 officially being cancelled?

This latest IGN report on the state of the conference was quickly followed up by an official statement from E3’s Twitter account, which read: “Reedpop and the Entertainment Software Association have announced that both the digital and physical events for E3 2023 are cancelled.”

In an interview with GamesIndustry.Biz, ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis discussed some of the reasons behind the cancellation, citing game development timelines being different following the pandemic, the current worldwide economic situation and companies taking more of an interest in digital forms of marketing as the main challenges this version of E3 failed to overcome.

Reaction to the news from figures around the games industry has seen many comments on what the conference has meant to them over the years, with some also sharing a few of their fondest memories from attending.

For example, CD Projekt Red Global PR Director Radek Grabowski revealed that he’ll miss moments like “(chatting) with Keanu (Reeves) in between his Johnny Silverhand interviews” and posted a picture of the tiny booth at the show occupied by the first Witcher game.

The Verge’s Chris Person shared a slightly more strange memory, recalling: “One E3, Nintendo had Mario's head on a screen floating above a bunch of journalists, synced up to Charles Martinet doing live crowd work. Nothing is more surreal than hearing Mario's booming voice go ‘Hey, Look-a. It's-a Brian Crecente, from-a Polygon. How-a you doing?’”

Also getting in on the action was Geoff Keighley, the face of rival event Summer Game Fest, who shared a picture of himself at E3’s first-ever edition in 1995 and added: “E3 meant so much to me and to so many of you too. Four years ago, I realised that E3 wasn't evolving as it needed to compete in a global, digital world. So we started building what’s next.”

Regardless of how you feel about E3’s cancellation, make sure to follow us for coverage of Summer Games Fest and any separate showcases put on by the likes of Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo.

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