Rumors of E3's death would appear to be greatly exaggerated. The Entertainment Software Association announced today that the beloved gaming expo will return as both an in-person and digital event in 2023.
In an interview with the Washington Post, ESA president Stan Pierre-Louis said that the industry organization is "excited" about returning in 2023. "As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great," he said.
This would be the first in-person E3 held since 2019. The 2020 E3 was canceled due to the pandemic, and the digital-only 2021 event was criticized for strange restrictions on streaming and a social media-style interface that revealed attendees' personal details without their consent. (And let's not forget the discovery of an unsecured spreadsheet in 2019 that leaked personal details of thousands of games journalists and content creators.)
Indeed, when the ESA announced that the 2022 incarnation would be canceled without so much as a digital event, many assumed that E3 was all but dead in the water. Geoff Keighley even said that his upcoming Summer Game Fest event will hopefully fill in the yawning void caused by the lack of an E3 this year. Well, we guess the two events will have to play nice and coexist next year.
Despite the success of digital events like Sony's recent State of Play or Summer Game Fest, Pierre-Louis told the Washington Post that there is room for a physical show. He also spoke out against politicians that blame the recent spate of tragic mass shootings on video games, calling such charges "baseless allegations."