The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed to IGN that E3 will not be taking place as an in-person event this year. Although there is a possibility that a digital alternative will take its place, no such plans have been announced.
For the third year in a row, E3 will not be returning to the Los Angeles Convention Centre. The event was cancelled altogether in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and last year was hosted as an entirely digital event. Now, the ESA has revealed that the in-person expo is once again being cancelled due to health concerns regarding the pandemic.
“Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding Covid-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” the ESA’s statement read. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
There have been previous indications that this would be the case. While an in-person show had been officially planned since the beginning of E3 2021, the 2022 show never had fixed dates and it wasn’t present on the convention centre’s calendar. Typically, a show of this magnitude would be booked over a year in advance.
Whether or not the in-person event will be replaced with a digital expo remains to be seen. While this was the case in 2021, the ESA told IGN that they couldn’t confirm plans for such an event in 2022. This follows several years of decline for E3, which have seen data leaks, major staff changes, and several high-profile controversies, including a failed companion app for last year’s event. In its place, many developers have started to host their own showcases, usually around the same time period as E3. Similarly, other gaming expositions have begun to appear, such as the Summer Game Fest.
In response to E3’s cancellation, Summer Game Fest organiser and former E3 producer Geoff Keighley announced that his showcase would be returning this year.