The halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center won’t be jam-packed this year: Entertainment Software Association, the organization behind theE3, announced that the annual edition of its video game high mass will be held online only. Unsurprisingly, the rise in COVID-19 cases across the world is driving this decision, as was the case last year.
E3 at home
The ESA press release announcing this decision could not be more succinct: two sentences to announce that no physical event will take place for E3 2022.
Due to the health risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of our exhibitors and visitors, E3 will not take place in person for the 2022 edition. We remain very excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details in the coming times.
This is far from surprising news given the explosion of the Omicron variant across the world. After simply canceling the 2020 edition, ESA opted for a fully virtual event the following year. A change that does not represent any concrete difference for ordinary viewers, simply eager to discover the latest world premieres and other trailers while CGI.
The aisles of the traditional salon are mostly reserved for journalists — for the rare hands-on preview sessions — and influencers. But over the years, publishers and builders have become accustomed to quickly uploading all content previously temporarily exclusive to physical show visitors.
To put an end to E3?
In fact, it was mainly the pre-E3 conferences that motivated the hype around this period. These great shows, rich in announcements, are organized by the publishers and manufacturers in a semi-independent manner at the show, and are not “part” of E3 as such.
However, the latest trend observed over the years shows an increasingly sustained liberation from the large groups in the industry. Rather than sharing the bill with the competition, publishers and manufacturers prefer to organize their own virtual conferences — as is now the case for PlayStation and Nintendo. From there to no longer seeing any practical interest at E3, there is only one step …