E3 2023 cancelled: Game over for long-running American trade show

Move comes as Ubisoft, one of its only major publishers, pulls out

The long-running E3 gaming expo has been cancelled. Reuters
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Sponsors of E3, a long-running video game trade show, pulled the plug on this year's gathering, announcing on the event's website Thursday they will "re-evaluate" the future of the expo.

The move comes as more major gaming players announce their own digital gatherings and following reports that companies such as Xbox, Nintendo and Sony had planned to sit out the event. Just days prior, one of the few major publishers taking part, Ubisoft, announced it was pulling out and would instead host its own event in the Los Angeles area.

"Show organiser ReedPop announces E3 2023 will not take place as scheduled this June, with both physical and digital events cancelled," the E3 website said.

"Alongside the Entertainment Software Association, both parties will reevaluate the future of E3."

The association had sponsored the big gathering annually since 1995, usually in Los Angeles, but cancelled the event in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and held a virtual version in 2021.

Last July, sponsors announced plans for a return to a physical event in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, speaking of a show that would be "recognisably epic" with publishers, developers, content creators and licensors.

But ReedPop's Kyle Marsden-Kish cited a lack of "playable demos" from interested companies, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

While the cancellation was "a difficult decision," Marsden-Kish said "we had to do what's right for the industry and what's right for E3", according to the paper.

"We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome,” Marsden-Kish added.

Updated: March 31, 2023, 5:22 AM