E3 May Not Be Canceled After All?

The future of the expo looks bleak as its 2024 & 2025 events have been canceled in LA, but it might not be the full picture.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to an old friend — and that’s exactly what I felt like I was doing when I heard rumors that E3 2024 and 2025 were canceled in LA (thanks, InsiderGaming). The E3 expo has been a huge part of gaming and tech for a long time, ever since I was a kid, so it was sad to hear that the last, somewhat underwhelming, 100% online 2021 show was the last I’d see of the expo. 

And I’m sure that’s how many people felt, as the inaugural show of the expo happened all the way back in 1995, and the expo itself was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, gaming expos of the year. 

Sadly, it all came down to a crashing halt when the E3 was officially axed for 2023, after a slow slide into the abyss, with many major developers and publishers pulling out before its eventual cancellation. 

According to documents from the City Tourism Commission in LA, the E3 2024 and 2025 shows are indeed canceled, but it doesn’t mean that the show is completely lost altogether — it just means it won’t happen in LA in the next two years. However, that’s not to say that the future still doesn’t look grim for the in-person event. 

According to Axios reporter, Stephen Totilo, who spoke to an Entertainment Software Association (ESA, the company that owns E3), the show may not be entirely canceled just yet. According to a rep from the ESA:

ESA is currently in conversation with ESA members and other stakeholders about E3 2024 (and beyond), and no final decisions about the events have been made at this time.

He goes on to say in a subsequent tweet:

We expect E3 to continue to be a part of ESA’s storytelling and are currently in conversation with a number of stakeholders about what E3 2024 (and beyond) should look like to best serve the interactive entertainment industry.

So Wait, is E3 Canceled or Not?

E3 is probably canceled. But there is hope that maybe it won’t be in the future, or maybe the ESA plans to pivot to something entirely new or different. Though I was underwhelmed by the virtual show in 2021, I suppose a fully remote streamed expo is a (probably) lower-cost option for them. 

Or, as others have speculated, maybe ESA is just planning on moving the expo somewhere else. After all, there are tons of cities in the United States that would likely welcome E3 to their city, so who knows — maybe we will hear about a new in-person event closer to where you live. 

All of this, of course, is speculation — and positive speculation at that. As we reported, many major vendors, including Sony, Nintendo, and Xbox, pulled out of the show before it even began — which kind of put pie on ESA’s face after a somewhat embarrassing announcement that E3 2023 would continue in person in LA. 

Why Did E3 Fail?

E3 failed as a result of a multitude of factors, including Sony pulling out of the 2019 show and the 2020 show being canceled due to pandemic lockdowns, as well as the previously mentioned panned 2021 online-only show and the canceled 2022 and 2023 shows. To put it lightly, E3 has been through the wringer since 2019, and it doesn’t help that competitors have swooped in since then, including Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest, which seems to resonate more directly with the gaming community. 

Many developers and companies are also now switching to their own expo or announcement models, as well, as they can now pull in massive audiences a la Nintendo Direct, Ubisoft Direct, Xbox Games Showcase, and a plethora of other direct-to-consumer avenues, which may be the final blow to the dwindling expo. 

Only time will tell what the future holds for E3, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that maybe it’s not totally done for just quite yet. 

We’ll let you know if E3 is able to rise like a Pheonix from the ashes in our news section