E3 2022 is canceled, but a return is planned for 2023

There won’t be an E3 in 2022. The cancellation makes 2022 only the second year in more than two and a half decades that an E3 hasn’t taken place. The other year without E3 was 2020, when the event was canceled due to lockdowns at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Entertainment Software Association’s annual trade event began in 1995, and despite fluctuations in its relevance over the years (2007 was terrible), it has consistently been considered the most important event in the gaming industry. There was an E3 last year, though it was held entirely online rather than in person at the LA Convention Center. This year, there will be no in-person or online E3, sources familiar with the ESA’s decisions told PC Gamer. This was confirmed today when Razer PR leader Will Powers said on twitter that “digital E3 is officially canceled for 2022”, citing an email from the ESA.

According to journalist Stephen Totilo, ESA says “E3 will return in 2023 with a refreshed showcase that celebrates exciting new video games and industry innovations.” PC Gamer confirmed this information with another source.

Nowadays, in the minds of gamers and the industry itself, E3 has become a conglomeration of many events and meetings that take place in and around the LA Convention Center each June, not all of which are officially associated with the ESA show.

The flashy E3 press conferences from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and major game publishers were formally considered E3 events in the past, but in recent years some of these companies have opted to do their own thing. Sony skipped E3 2021, for example, and in recent years EA has been hosting EA Play Live around E3 week, but not as part of E3.

The convention, which was due to take place June 11-14 of this year, also attracted shows from non-publishers. PC Gamer itself started hosting the annual PC Gaming Show in 2015. We’ll be back with another show this June.

In addition to producing and hosting the annual Game Awards, Geoff Keighley also became a major presence during E3 week with Summer Game Fest. Following the news of E3 2022’s cancellation, he tweeted a wink emoji. He later formally announced the return of Summer Game Fest.

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There were also several other E3-adjacent broadcasts last year that could return in June alongside the larger conferences. Since a convention center floor wasn’t expected to begin with, the only thing missing from this year’s E3 over last year might be the letter and number. We expect a large number of events to take place during this June week, as well as before and after it.

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