We recently got confirmation that E3 2022 is cancelled and would not be taking place as either an in-person or digital event. This has caused a lot of polarising reactions from the games industry but for the most part, it appears that people are sad to see this news break.
There is, however, a wider question in play now with the future of E3, in general, being brought into question. Is the show a relic of the past or does it still have a role to play in the industry going forward?
Should E3 return?
I personally feel like there is still a place for E3 in the future of the games industry. The problem is that for it to return with any real weight or gravitas, changes would need to be made.
The introduction of public access was something that was heavily pushed for but ultimately took the shine away from the show as it became more of a marketing and merchandise expo than anything else.
Returning to how the show used to be run prior to this could bring the mystique back that saw so many fans dream of one day attending E3. The other big change would need to be bringing back all of the major players in the industry under the E3 banner rather than just holding showcases off-site prior to the event really beginning.
As Microsoft and Sony started to break away from the traditional E3 schedule, a disconnect was clear almost immediately. Sony then stepped away entirely and Nintendo certainly scaled back its presence resorting to pre-recorded presentations rather than a live show.
Is E3 gone forever?
Deep down, I feel like E3 2023 is make or break for the ESA. If the event takes place and is a massive success, it should secure the future of the show for the next decade.
If it fails, we've probably seen the last of the event and it will slowly fade into simply being another piece of lost history in the games industry.