The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has officially declared the end of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), marking the conclusion of a 28-year legacy in the gaming industry. The cancellation comes after the 2023 expo, which was initially called off due to analysts citing struggles to maintain relevance.
In a poignant statement, the organizers acknowledged the more than two decades of E3, with each year surpassing the last in terms of scale and impact.
They expressed gratitude for the memories and bid farewell with a "GGWP" (good game well played). The cancellation of the 2023 event, scheduled for June 13-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, was a final blow to the iconic gaming showcase.
E3, once the pinnacle of the gaming calendar, had been grappling with a diminishing role in recent years. The 2020 cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a virtual event in 2021 and another cancellation in 2022, demonstrated the challenges it faced in adapting to changing industry dynamics.
Michael Jackson playing Tekken at the very first E3 1995 pic.twitter.com/LccDumobzM— Gene Park (@GenePark) December 13, 2023
The decline was exacerbated by major players like Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Sony opting for independent events, distancing themselves from the historical E3 platform.
Game developers took to Twitter to express their dismay at witnessing E3 "fizzle out," emphasizing the significant impact the expo had on the industry.
It's hard to sum up the impact E3 had on the industry. Entire dev cycles and publishing calendars revolved around creating demos and beats to be part of it. Your year almost revolved around it!— Hollie Bennett (@HollieB) December 12, 2023
It's sad to see it fizzle out, in the past nothing generated buzz like E3 did. https://t.co/2Qta6d3g78
E3 had long been synonymous with major announcements, flashy press conferences, and groundbreaking reveals from industry giants like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
The end of E3 is sad news; we exhibited "MGS" for the first time in Atlanta in 1997. I have participated every year since then. Especially, the presentation of "MGS2" in 2000 is a precious memory. It was 23 years ago. Without E3, Japanese creators and titles would not have made… pic.twitter.com/Lz3RkuQgSY— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) December 13, 2023
However, as gaming companies increasingly pursued their own events, the expo struggled to secure exclusive announcements and maintain its former relevance.
While recognizing the nostalgia associated with E3, research director for games at Ampere Analysis Piers Harding-Rolls acknowledged the shift towards alternative platforms and the changing landscape of gaming industry events.
E3 will forever be remembered for its cringe moments.— NEO_NoiseBomb (@NEO_NoiseBomb) December 12, 2023
Giant Enemy Crab, Jesse NFS Payback, Konami E3 2010, the whole borefest that was Gran Turismo Sony E3 2006, and more.
I don't like that Geoff SGF/TGA is taking over the whole presentation stuff. E3 was something special. https://t.co/LwXDyMy8Di pic.twitter.com/fGpfrtTzb0
ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis stated that the organization's focus would continue to center on advocating for its member companies and the industry workforce.