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E3 2022 Cancelled: Does The Gaming Industry Need E3?
Every summer, like clockwork, dedicated gamers and members of the industry prepare themselves for the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Held in Los Angeles, California at the start of every summer, E3 acts as a major turning point for the gaming calendar, as companies reveal their plans for the holiday season, often through flashy and expensive presentations broadcast around the world. Unfortunately, this year will pass without the annual gaming conference, as E3 2022 has been officially cancelled. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the group that organizes the event, E3 will return in 2023 bigger and better than ever. However, as the news settles and other companies start offering alternatives, the cancellation of E3 2022 has seen some interesting responses throughout the industry.
E3 2022 Cancellation Sends Ripples Through the Industry
The Electronic Entertainment Expo first cropped up in 1995, just as the video game industry was making strides toward the mainstream. For years, game publishers were sequestered in other conferences like the Consumer Electronics Show, treated as a niche and tucked away in corners of the expo. Seeing the need for a trade show that would prioritize the video game industry for interested retailers, E3 was formed and the rest is history. The first E3 saw over 40,000 attendees, a packed show floor full of vendors, and a significant amount of success in sales.
Over the next ten years, E3 would become a mammoth in the electronics industry, existing as the one and only flagship gaming show for fans and retailers alike. As the public interest grew, presentations switched from stuffy, corporate press conferences into expensive and exciting showcases. Despite a few hiccups in the mid-2000s, the show retained its cultural significance for decades, before taking a swift downturn in recent years.
After a few decades, E3 became the subject of heated debate, as many vendors found it too expensive to showcase their goods, leading to smaller events that were closed to the public. Before long, companies started switching up their strategy, offering independently aired presentations removed from the E3 umbrella. As major publishers like Nintendo and PlayStation moved away from the show, the quality started to crumble, leading to the recent years of lacklustre content. In fact, the cancellation of E3 2022 is just another blemish in a string of poor performances, as E3 2021 was seen as a forced digital event with little purpose. That said, the last four years have been tough for any in-person media events, but with a fresh look at the state of the industry, many are wondering if E3 2022 is needed at all.
Does The Gaming Industry Need E3?
Truthfully, it's become painfully apparent in recent years that the gaming industry, for better or worse, has out-grown E3. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, the event made much more sense, as gaming news was limited and often withheld for major events like E3. That's simply not the case anymore. Now, with the eruption of social media, video-sharing platforms, and live streaming, there are new gaming announcements every week.
Gamers and journalists are no longer starved for information, and E3 has become more of a hassle than a necessity. The three major players in the industry (Nintendo, Microsoft, and PlayStation) have all had plenty of success with their independent ventures, making E3 less and less relevant with each passing year. Even if E3 2022 was still taking place, it would be woefully absent of any huge announcements, as many publishers have chosen alternatives on how to spread their latest news.
For example, while E3 2022 is cancelled, there are still plenty of exciting summer gaming showcases happening around the same time. Geoff Keighley, the host of The Video Game Awards and a general industry leader, will be putting on his “Summer Games Fest 2022” live stream, which has recently gained tons of popularity. Additionally, Microsoft, Nintendo, and PlayStation will all continue with their scheduled marketing plans, including independent summer showcases of their own. Indie games will also get their fair time in the spotlight, with smaller-scale presentations like The Guerilla Collective 3 and PC Gaming Show.
With half a dozen gaming showcases scheduled for the coming weeks and the industry relatively calm, it's become clear that E3 is not the powerhouse expo that it once was. It's always fun to celebrate gaming culture, and E3 has always been an event that fans rally around, but that festive attitude seems to continue despite this year's cancellation. While we hope that the next E3 is tons of fun and worth the wait, it seems like the industry is doing just fine without it.