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E3 is officially no more as the ESA shuts down the long running video game trade show

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Although it's not exactly shocking news, today the Entertainment Software Association confirmed that it will no longer organize and hold the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show, better known as E3. The official announcement was made on the ESA's X (formerly Twitter) account.

In an interview with the Washington Post, ESA president Stanley Pierre-Louis went into more detail about the decision to end E3. He stated:

"There were fans who were invited to attend in the later years, but it really was about a marketing and business model for the industry and being able to provide the world with information about new products,” he said. “Companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.”

The decision to hold a trade show devoted to the video game industry resulted in the first E3 in 1995 in Los Angeles. With a few exceptions over the past few decades, E3 was always held at the LA Convention Center, where game publishers big and small exhibited new and upcoming console and PC games to the press and retail partners, and later to the general public.

The last physical E3 show to be held was in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the show to be completely canceled in 2020 and 2022, with an all digital event held in 2021. The ESA announced plans to bring back the show as a physical event to the LA Convention Center for June 2023. However, after many of the major game publishers announced they would not attend the show, the ESA canceled those plans in March 2023.

The big question now is: What, if anything, will replace E3 for game announcements in June? It's possible that publishers like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and others will hold their own separate digital showcases during that period. There's also the Summer Games Fest, which has been a big digital showcase of upcoming games for the last few years. The next edition will be held sometime in June 2024.

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