News broke after IGN picked up a tweet made by Will Powers, Razer PR lead. Powers mentioned that the ESA had sent emails to business partners explaining their decision to cancel E3.
"Just got an email... It's official, E3 digital is official (sic) cancelled for 2022. Lots of mixed feelings about this...," Powers tweeted out.
Just got an email... It's official, E3 digital is official cancelled for 2022. Lots of mixed feelings about this...— Will Powers ðŸ›« NYC (@WillJPowers) March 31, 2022
Since the start of 2022, leakers suggested that the ESA was contemplating scrapping plans for an online E3 for the second year in a row following a lukewarm reception to 2021's edition.
IGN mentions that "discussions about a possible digital equivalent have been ongoing ever since, but without strong momentum to drive them."
Why was E3 cancelled?
There are many reasons for E3's cancellation, but one of the main causes is the decentralisation of information shared by game developers and publishers.
Instead of fighting for the spotlight in the blitz of announcements and game reveals that occur during E3, some publishers have decided to hold their own conferences and events to avoid being outshined.
Massive corporations like Sony had previously declined to make appearances at E3 in 2020 (before it got cancelled) and 2021, opting to continue expanding on their State of Play streams instead.
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Nintendo is another important company that's been distanced from E3 for even longer. The Japanese developer ditched in-person conferences in favour of showing up with Directs, livestreams that update fans on all things related to their software and hardware.
On top of companies ditching E3, other events have stolen the Expo's thunder, such as Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest, a collection of events and showcases spread across two months, featuring some of the industry's most important developers.
Will E3 come back in 2023?
According to IGN, the ESA might be reevaluating how E3 works for an eventual comeback, however, no information of any kind was shared.
All fans can do is wait and hope for a revamped E3 for 2023. The alternative is, sadly, a miserable, unceremonious end to one of gaming's most influential, iconic, and important events in its history.
Featured imaged courtesy of ESA.