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E3 is dead, for real this time

The ESA officially confirms that E3 is dead for good, after the rise of Summer Game Fest, pandemic struggles, and publisher-led showcases.

That’s right, the yearly videogame industry event that had been running since 1995 bids goodbye, as organizer the Entertainment Software Association issues a statement confirming that E3 is no more.

After multiple cancellations due to the pandemic, the rise of Summer Game Fest, and independent publisher showcases, E3 is dead.

“After more than two decades of hosting an event that has served as a central showcase for the US and global video game industry the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has decided to bring E3 to a close,” ESA CEO and present Stanley Pierre-Louis says (via The Washington Post).

“We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion. We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

Despite what the internet might have you believe, not just one factor killed E3. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the ESA to cancel three of the last four annual events, with E3 2021 taking place online.

On top of this, The Game Awards and Gamescom Opening Night Live host Geoff Keighley started his own similar event in 2020, Summer Game Fest. SGF’s first year was also E3’s first canceled year, with Keighley’s event essentially taking the spotlight since then.

Many game publishers also began hosting their own online showcases and events in the wake of E3’s missing presence, so the return of the event felt less and less likely.

E3 has been on its last legs for a while, with an ESA announcement earlier this year confirming that the event would be canceled through 2024. Now it’s for real though, as E3 is gone forever, or at least in the form we all remember it. Despite the ESA working with ReedPop in an attempt to bring the event back, it’s gone.

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