Sega, Ubisoft and Tencent’s reported plans to skip E3 2023 leave fans dismayed

Like A Dragon: Ishin's characters alongside the E3 logo.
Credit: E3 on Twitter and Sega.

Like A Dragon: Ishin's characters alongside the E3 logo.
Credit: E3 on Twitter and Sega.

Given the rising trend of gaming’s biggest hitters hosting their own individual showcase events, such as Xbox and Bethesda’s Developer Directs and PlayStation’s State of Play broadcasts, the long-time staple of the industry calendar that is E3 has been facing an uncertain future for a little while now.

While it hasn’t taken the form of a physical, in-person conference since 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference is currently set to make a triumphant return in June this year.

However, following January's news that Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo don’t plan on having a presence on the show’s floor, new reports from IGN and VGC are suggesting that those companies won’t be alone in skipping the event.

What are you hoping to see at E3 2023?

According to the IGN report, Sega and Tencent won’t be attending this year’s E3, which is currently set to take place from June 11 to June 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with both having responded to requests for comment by confirming that they would not be participating in the event as exhibitors.

Devolver Digital also provided a statement to IGN, revealing that it wouldn’t be continuing its historical trend of hosting “satellite events” around E3 conferences in a car park near the venue.

Several other major publishers contacted about their participation in the event for the story, including EA, Square Enix and Activision Blizzard, didn’t provide a response to these requests prior to its publication.

These developments follow VGC’s report earlier this week that Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft has decided to host its own Ubisoft Forward event in LA on June 12 instead of attending E3.

IGN’s report also suggests there’s an atmosphere of uncertainty and concern surrounding the show among some individuals in publishing and PR that are typically involved in setting up event attendance.

This idea is seemingly mirrored by a Tweet from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, who said in response to VGC’s story: “One consistent conversation (being had) at GDC last week was: ‘Is your company going to E3?’ ‘No idea.’ ‘Is it actually going to happen?’ ‘Who knows?’”

Reaction to these reports on social media sites like Reddit has seen many gamers express disheartened feelings regarding the show’s apparent state.

For example, in a thread reacting to the Sega and Tencent news in the subreddit r/gamingleaksandrumors, user SoldierPhoenix said: “E3 was like gaming Christmas. This just makes me depressed.”

Meanwhile, user commander_snuggles speculated that the reported absence of big publishers could also affect the appeal of the conference for smaller developers, suggesting: “Those publishers probably don't see the point in paying the sign-on fee if they can't (rely on) the runoff (of attention) from people watching for the massive publishers and the big three (console manufacturers).”

The thread on the subreddit r/gamingleaksandrumors.
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We have reached out to Reedpop, E3 2023's organiser, for comment on this story and will update it if a response is provided.

Regardless of how you feel about E3’s future following these reports, make sure to follow us for coverage of the conference and any separate showcases put on by the likes of Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo.

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