E3 has been canceled… again

Bad news, everyone. After getting three shots, countless nasal penetrations and gag reflex check-ups, and keeping your COVID passport updated, you’re still not going to experience E3 2022 as intended. Due to the current status of the pandemic, the ESA has decided to cancel the event again. So much for “get your vaccine and everything will go back to normal in no time”.

Since it has now been three years, people might have forgotten what E3 actually is. Short explanation: Big venue in LA, lots of publishers with new games, thousands of people go fucknuts at press conferences. For years, E3 dubbed itself “the biggest games event in the world”, but lately, E3 has become nothing more than a distant memory. Especially to journalists, since they used to be the target demographic of the ESA.

Anywho, canceled again thanks to COVID. Big surprise. But not all is lost. There’s still a chance that E3 might go all-digital like it did last year. Who knows? The ESA probably does, but it hasn’t been mentioned just yet. The fact that the organization stated that it would be announcing “more details soon” makes me believe that we’re going to see a repeat of last year’s approach.

I mean, the ESA has to do something to keep E3 alive. Even before COVID shook up the world, E3 had a hard time staying relevant. Publishers left and right started to host their own events for major announcements, leaving E3 with sloppy seconds.

Keeping that into consideration, events like E3 and Gamescom constantly need to figure out a way to keep their audiences captivated. If going digital is the only viable solution, going digital they shall, even if big names in the industry question it. Big names like former Nintendo of America-boss Reggie Fils-Aimé, who was mildly enthusiastic about the idea of a digital E3. This is what he had to say to Gamertag Radio‘s Danny Peña back in 2021:

“I have to say that what I read doesn’t sound all that compelling.

If I were king for a day, I’ll tell you how I would do it. I do think doing this digitally is absolutely right and the reason for that is, there are more than the 60,000 people who would typically attend an E3. There are millions more interested in finding out what’s going on and executing an event digitally is the way to bring that to life, so that’s the right track.

Having said that, I think that the platform holders need to find a way digitally to enable their fans, their players, to experience the content because that’s the key for E3 right – the ability to be playing The Last of Us Part 3 for the first time, or to play that next Breath of the Wild game for the first time, or to play the next great game coming from the new amalgamation of all the Xbox studios.

To play for the first time is what’s magical and the platform holders need to figure out how to deliver that experience to their fans during an E3-like digital experience. I think that would be huge.”

True that, Reggie. I mean, seeing trailers and stuff is all neat-o, but what about hands-on experiences? What about those exclusive goodies that I now can’t dump on eBay? And is the ESA really going to make me buy my own food and drinks now? Worst… event… EVER!

I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer to get the answers to those questions…