E3 Will Be Online-Only Again This Year, Robbing Downtown LA of Gaming’s Biggest Convention

E3 Will Be Online-Only Again This Year, Robbing Downtown LA of Gaming’s Biggest Convention

Video game fans will have to enjoy gaming’s biggest convention from home again this year.

Despite being five months away, gaming trade group the Entertainment Software Association will make its annual Electronic Entertainment Expo—better known as E3—an online-only event this summer, instead of its usual blowout event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown L.A. The organizer cited the coronavirus pandemic amid the rapid, ongoing spread of the omicron variant.

“Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” the ESA said in a statement Thursday. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

E3 was staged as a remote affair for the first time last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the 2020 expo was fully canceled. The conference usually attracts a worldwide audience to Downtown L.A.; the ESA reported that more than 60,000 people visited the convention center during the three-day event in 2019. E3 also draws big-name game publishers like Nintendo, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

But in recent years, even prior to the pandemic, many publishers began to reconsider shelling out thousands of dollars for an exhibition space at the expo, with some opting to use their own channels to roll out announcements in a cheaper, quicker fashion. In 2019, EA Games, Nintendo, and Sony Interactive Entertainment said they wouldn’t attend the conference, choosing instead to run their own, smaller press junkets.

E3 is one of many events now grappling with the surge in coronavirus cases. Some of the tech industry’s biggest names are skipping in-person proceedings at the CES consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas this week, while L.A.’s Upfront Summit venture capital conference has been pushed back from late January to early March.

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Pejman Nozad, a founding managing partner at Pear VC, joins this episode of LA Venture to discuss Pear VC's current initiatives, including its accelerator and fellowships. He's seen as one of the most successful angel investors in the area, and for good reason: he has made more than 300 investments in his lifetime.

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Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.