E3 will be back in 2023, the ESA has reiterated


E3 owner the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has reiterated that it’s planning to bring back the long-running gaming event in 2023.

This year, for the second time in three years, E3 was cancelled entirely, with the ESA blaming “ongoing health risks surrounding Covid-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees”.

The trade body, which represents the business and public affairs needs of the US video games industry, said in March that it was planning to bring back the show in 2023.

And president Stanley Pierre-Louis reiterated that message in a Washington Post interview published on Tuesday.

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“We’re excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event,” he said.

“As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great.”

With E3 2022 cancelled, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest 2022 will fill the gap with “events, activities and updates for fans from more than 30 partnersscheduled for June.

“I think what’s great about all this experimentation is that companies of all sizes are trying to figure out what works best to promote the product and the content that they are looking to share with consumers,” Pierre-Louis said.

“And I think there is a space for a physical show; I think there’s an importance of having digital reach. Combining those two, I think there is a critical element of what we think E3 can provide.”

Even before the pandemic, the ESA was already facing significant pressure to reinvent E3, with several major publishers including EA, Sony and Activision having abandoned the event in recent years – and that was before 2020’s cancellation, after which companies such as EA and Ubisoft enjoyed success running their own digital events.

Commenting on a VGC report last year, former Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aimé said that he believed the ESA needed to act fast if it is to save the historical games event.

The ESA has yet to announce dates for E3 2023.

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