The E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is the most important video game fair in the world that, until 2019 (except for two editions), had been held continuously since the second half of the 90s. First in Atlanta and then in Los Angeles. It was at these events that every day that it opened its doors, gamers learned important news about those video games that they were going to enjoy in the following years, with presentations and demos that have already gone down in history.
The twilight of a mythical fair
The last E3 that we have in memory is 2019 because in 2020, for reasons that you all surely remember related to the pandemic, the organizers decided to cancel it, but not before making a pretense of adapting it to the new times with an online format that, unfortunately, did not have anywhere near the same impact as the one we had experienced in the last 20 years. But do not think that only the coronavirus and that digital transformation is the main reason for this cancellation, there are many other reasons behind it. Behold.
In recent years some key companies have changed their communication strategy when they want to contact their fans directly. Nintendo was the first, with those Direct that now everyone links with the moment in which the Japanese announce news to us, although over the years others have joined the same strategy. Whose? Effectively! Sony.
For a few years now, Sony does not wait for an E3 to show news and turn to their State of Play where he brings us up to date on important events taking place within the PlayStation ecosystem. Why show the design of the new PS5 at an E3 (as you did with PS3, for example) if you can do it in your own digital event? It is more, already in some of the last editions of the fair of Los Angeles announced that they would not be present and that was, how to say, practically signing the death certificate of the event because without the first party… things get complicated.
show vs business
In 2021 it became clear that a digital E3 has nothing to do with a face-to-face one. The canned conferences that are launched on YouTube one day at an hour are very good for the general public, for gamers from all over the world, but not for professionals in the sector. The fair, let’s not forget, was not originally created so that players could attend it in person or from home with online broadcasts, but rather it is a purely business meeting attended by hundreds of workers from development and distribution companies from all over the world. world, a moment in which many agreements are closed that will later condition many of the products that we buy in stores.
Without that area of the business, the existence of E3 ceases to make sense, much to the regret of the gamers who miss that part of the showcase with which they have endowed the fair in the last 20 years. The corridors of the Los Angeles Convention Center are, at their best, a bustling bustle of people coming and going from meeting to meeting talking about numbers, prices, commissions and new ideas that are certified with deals that serve, for example, to support the new project of a small independent studio.
Will E3 come back?
The ESA, which organizes the event, speaks of a truce in 2022 to come back stronger in 2023. If that is true, do not doubt that it is due to an intention to propose a new format where that part of the spectacle of the classic Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, etc. conferences has a place, with the other leg of the business, which continues to be mandatory for the pillars of the industry to continue to settle. Although if Nintendo and Sony do not reconsider going back… things seem complicated.