Given the rising trend of gaming’s biggest hitters hosting their own individual showcase events, such as last week’s Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct, 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 set to make a triumphant return in June this year.
However, according to a report from IGN’s Kat Bailey, it’ll do so without a show floor presence from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.
What are you hoping to see at E3 2023?
According to the report, none of the three companies will be playing a part in the conference itself, marking an apparent shift in ethos from Microsoft and Nintendo, both of which had maintained a steady presence at previous iterations of the event, including 2021’s online-only edition.
As outlined by Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb in a tweet responding to the IGN report: “Nintendo had a (diminished) booth at E3 2019, and Xbox -- while (based) at the Microsoft Theater across the street -- was still a part of E3 2019 (your E3 badge got you into the Xbox event). So this is a pretty big change.”
However, as pointed out by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the lack of a Playstation presence at the conference would be less surprising, due to Sony’s decision not to participate in 2019’s in-person E3 or 2021’s online edition.
In a statement to IGN, the event’s organiser, ReedPop, which announced it would be putting together 2023’s version of the showcase in June last year, emphasised the importance of E3 to the industry as a whole and suggested that its lineup will be attractive to attendees.
Meanwhile, reaction to the report on social media sites like ResetEra and Reddit has seen many gamers express their sadness at the idea of an E3 show without any direct presence from the three companies.
For example, in a thread reacting to the news in the subreddit r/gamingleaksandrumors, user commander_snuggles mused: “It was great waiting for E3 week and getting to see all the big news for the year. Now it's just sporadic (showcases with) info on what's coming up.”
However, on ResetEra, user theme park joe was more conflicted, suggesting: “We'll never have that industry gathering quite like that again. On the other hand, the only way E3 could survive is if it all blew up and they made HUGE changes. This could be such an opportunity.”
Regardless of how you feel about E3’s future following this report, make sure to follow us for coverage of the conference and any separate showcases put on by Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo.