It’s official: the 2022 edition of E3, the most prominent video game conference in the world, will once again not be taking place this summer. After a January announcement from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) stated that the trade show would no longer be taking place in-person, the ensuing speculation centered around a potential digital equivalent, similar to the online-only edition in 2021.
At the time the ESA did not confirm whether or not this remote solution would actually happen, but given the parallels to last summer (i.e. COVID-19 still existing) it seemed logical that E3 2022 would continue being held over the internet.
IGN was the first to report on the sudden cancellation and was corroborated by a tweet from Will Powers, a Razer PR lead who claimed to have received the news over email.
The goal for this year’s event was to resume in-person activity, but as mentioned above, plans for a return to form were halted. Per the IGN report, sources connected to the event noted that discussions regarding a digital version of the conference were held following the January cancellation, but those talks never materialized into a concrete plan. Third parties typically involved with these discussions were also apparently frustrated with a lack of direction from the ESA.
E3 has not been conducted in person since 2019 and was also canceled in its entirety in 2020, before returning to an online-only edition in 2021. Perhaps the ESA is intent on restoring the event, only if it can take place physically — after all a trade show derives most of its value from the potential to connect with others; this process is much more difficult over videoconferencing software.
The official statement from the ESA would suggest that the association believes efforts towards a revamped 2023 conference is more prudent:
“Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022 ... Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer. Whether enjoyed from the show floor or your favorite devices, the 2023 showcase will bring the community, media, and industry back together in an all-new format and interactive experience ... We look forward to presenting E3 to fans around the world live from Los Angeles in 2023.”