After many years of absence, E3 is slated to return to the Los Angeles Convention Center as an in-person event in 2023. Reedpop revealed that the convention, which was previously synonymous with the biggest gaming announcements of the year, will take place on June 13-16. It will be divided into two halves, with June 13-15 dedicated to industry professionals and June 15-16 open to the public. The in-person component will be preceded by online showcases starting on June 11. All throughout, there will be spaces reserved for developers, publishers, distributors, and gaming media to network and demo new games. Reedpop, the group now behind E3, has handled other major conventions such as PAX, EGX, and New York Comic-Con.
While E3 was once considered the most important gaming expo of the year, there has not been an in-person event since 2019, before the emergence of COVID-19. Each of the last three years, an in-person convention was announced only to be canceled due to the virus.
However, even before the pandemic, E3 had seen better days. As large publishers like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft established methods for directly reaching out to consumers through game reveal live streams, these companies began to withdraw their presences from the E3 show floor.
Additionally, there have been attempts to fill the vacuum left by E3, such as Summer Game Fest, a loose confederation of game announcement streams that run in June. Summer Game Fest 2023 is already set to return as an in-person and online event, potentially during the same time period.
And if all this wasn’t enough, E3 had a a massive data leak in 2019 where over 2,000 journalists’ and analysts’ private information slipped due to shoddy data security practices, burning some degree of goodwill. In 2021, the online version of the convention was roasted for being a terrible user experience. Although it seems unlikely that the once-mighty convention will be able to return to its former glory, we will have to wait until June to find out.