E3 Gaming Conference Won’t Happen At All This Year

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

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Image courtesy of patsun on www.flickr.com

The rumors turned out to be true: E3, the annual blockbuster video game conference typically held in Downtown Los Angeles, is once again entirely canceled this year.

The Electronic Software Association (ESA), which runs the event, announced on Thursday that “there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022,” adding that the conference would return next year.


“E3 will return in 2023 with a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations,” the ESA said in a statement to dot.LA.

After canceling the conference in 2020 due to the pandemic, last year’s E3 was online-only—a blow to its usual host, the L.A. Convention Center, and the surrounding Downtown economy. After the ESA announced in January that this year’s event would again be held virtually due to COVID-19 concerns, VentureBeat writer Jeff Grubb predicted the conference would be entirely canceled.

In recent years, game publishers have increasingly looked to promote new products and releases via both in-person and virtual events of their own, such as PlayStation’s “State of Play” showcase earlier this month. While some industry observers see this as a shift away from E3’s importance as an industry-wide showcase, the ESA seemed to welcome the publishers holding their own events in the conference’s absence.

“We look forward to the individual showcases planned for 2022 and will join the community in celebrating and promoting the new titles being presented,” the ESA said Thursday. “E3 made the decision to focus its resources and use this time to shape our plans and deliver an all-new experience that delights fans, who have the highest expectations for the premier event in video games.”

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