The 2023 edition of E3 will once again appeal to publishers, studios, players and the world press.

For the second time in three years, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has been canceled entirely, the organizers of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) blaming the current health risks related to the coronavirus and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees. The professional body, which represents the video game industry in the United States, then indicated last March that it planned to bring back the famous American show next year.

A few days before the launch of the Summer Game Fest 2022, ESA President Stanley Pierre-Louis reiterated this position in an interview with the Washington Post: “We are excited to return in 2023 with a digital event and a physical event. As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they touch people and we want this global reach, as much as we know there’s a really strong desire for people to come together – to be able to connect in person, to see each other and to talk about what makes games great. I think what’s great about all this experimentation is that businesses of all sizes are trying to figure out what works best to promote the product and content they’re looking to share with consumers. And I think there is space for a physical living room; I think it’s important to have a numerical reach. By combining these two elements, I think there is an essential role that E3 can play.”

Is E3 really dead?

Last year, Reggie Fils-Aimé, former boss of Nintendo of America, said he thought the ESA needed to act quickly if it was to save the event: “I think E3 as an event and a time when new content is shared and celebrated, I think is really magical for the global games business. I must say that what I read does not seem that convincing. If I was king for a day, I’d tell you how I’d go about it. I think digital is a good solution and the reason is that there are more than the 60,000 people who usually attend E3. There are millions of people who want to know what’s going on and running a digital event is the way to bring that to life, so it’s the right way. That said, I think platform owners need to find a digital way to allow their fans, their players, to experience the content, because that’s the key to E3, which is being able to play to The Last of Us Part 3 for the first time, or to play the next Breath of the Wild game for the first time, or to play the next big game from the new merger of all Xbox studios. Playing for the first time is the magic and platform owners need to figure out how to deliver that experience to their fans in an E3-like digital experience. I think that would be huge. What I’ve read, like I said, doesn’t support that, and if you don’t have all of these different elements working together – so the big announcements, the hands-on, the opportunity in a definite time frame to have all of these announcements – I think that’s what’s key to a successful E3 going forward and frankly, if ESA doesn’t do it, others will.”

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