Once the premiere gaming industry event, E3 has struggled big time in recent years. The shift to online events hosted by individual publishers chipped away at its relevance. COVID caused the 2020 event to be canceled. An online-only event was held in 2021, but the event was once again canceled the past two years.
According to the Los Angeles Tourism Board, E3 events in 2024 and 2025 have been canceled.
But the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) told GameIndustry.biz, “no final decisions about the event have been made at this time.”
The ESA also sent a note to publishers saying:
“We expect E3 to continue to be a part of ESA’s storytelling and are currently in conversation with a number of stakeholders about what E3 2024 (and beyond) should look like to best serve the interactive entertainment industry.”
What’s clear is that the old days of E3 are long gone. The way games are shown today is radically different than ten years ago. Publishers can host deep dives into their games and stream them on YouTube or Twitch whenever they want. They don’t have to crunch to finish a demo by a specific time. Plus, there are other events like Summer Games Fest where publishers can show off a trailer.
If E3 wants to survive, it must pivot to something different. Esports or tailor their events similar to PAX are two of the more obvious options. But it’s going to be a struggle for them. There is no incentive for big publishers to show up right now. The big three (PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo) can host their events whenever they have something ready to show.
E3 in its prime will be missed. Nothing could top all the trailers (bullshots and all) when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were first revealed.