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E3 cancelled: Gaming’s most famous event killed off for good

E3, once the biggest event in the gaming industry, has been cancelled forever.

Debuting in 1995, at its peak the Electronic Entertainment Expo saw major companies such as Nintendo and Sony assemble every summer for an exciting week of announcements.

But an in-person event in Los Angeles has not occurred since 2019, and there have been multiple failed attempts to revive it.

The organiser has now confirmed it’s gone for good.

“After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye,” said the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

“Thanks for the memories.”

It comes after plans for its return earlier this year were scrapped, with the likes of PlayStation maker Sony and Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft among the companies that planned to skip it.

Since the pandemic, most of them have hosted their own internet livestreams to reveal new games – a much cheaper proposition than putting on expensive presentations in LA.

Other events have also filled the void, such as December’s Game Awards. That show has faced some criticism for focusing too much on E3-like announcements rather than actual awards.

Image:
Sony PlayStation used to put on lavish presentations to announce new games

The final nail being hammered into E3’s coffin is not a surprise, but will still disappoint those who have nostalgia for what was something of an early Christmas for gamers.

Highlights have included the first PlayStation getting a release date, Nintendo debuting what would become the Wii, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr promoting a special Beatles’ edition of the Rock Band series, and John Wick star Keanu Reeves becoming a meme as he revealed his involvement in the then upcoming Cyberpunk 2077.

Some dedicated fans would take time off work to soak up all the news and updates, while younger viewers in unfriendly timezones were known to stay up late on school nights.

ESA president Stanley Pierre-Louis said it was “difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event”.

“But it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners,” he added.

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