After scrapping the in-person show, the online show may be axed as well.
Recently, it was announced that, out of an abundance of caution due to rising cases of COVID-19, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo would be an all-online affair, similar to E3 2021. However, certain industry insiders have begun to suspect that E3 may simply be cancelled outright this year, more in line with the direction taken for E3 2020 (or lack of direction, as the case was).
According to game industry insider and GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, the Entertainment Software Association, the parent company of E3, will likely be cancelling the online showcases, leaving the 2022 event cancelled altogether.
“E3 has been canceled. Well, physically it’s been canceled,” he said in a TikTok video. “Digitally… probably also going to be canceled. Geoff Keighley will be putting on the Summer Games Fest. We don’t know much.”
— Nintendo Life (@nintendolife) January 17, 2022
Considering the recent state of the world, it wouldn’t be altogether surprising for E3 to go on hiatus for an indeterminate period. Most of the major game publishers, including Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, and Devolver Digital, have made habits of hosting their own virtual presentations and showcases regardless of whether E3 exists or not. In the pandemic era, where it’s still not entirely safe for people to gather in an enclosed space in large groups, there’s simply no reason to coordinate with other publishers for multiple conferences when you can simply hold your own on your own time.
Once the world returns to some semblance of normal, then the in-person show will likely return. Until then, though, we’ll just have to wait and see.