Despite new organiser ReedPop announcing grand plans for E3 2023, the dream of a rebooted and refreshed show that captures the event’s glory days may already be over. According to reliable sources speaking to IGN, Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation have already confirmed they will not be attending the show in any official capacity.
Given E3 2023 was previously synonymous with big game announcements, and these are generally expected every year, it comes as a massive blow to organisers and the hopeful public. While smaller, prestigious publishers like Capcom and Bandai Namco may make up the final exhibitor numbers, the reported lack of reveals from the industry’s three major platform holders will likely turn away those excited for the show.
Xbox’s reported departure is a particular surprise, given Microsoft has consistently supported E3, even when its major rivals diminished their presence at the show. Previously, Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer claimed the company would align a new showcase with E3 – however, IGN believes this will not be part of the official show.
‘Xbox is on the board of the ESA, and I think a successful and healthy ESA is critical to what we’re trying to go do. So we place our showcase, like we always have done, at a time where hopefully it’s convenient for press and even consumers that are going to the E3 event, and that’s what we’re trying to do now,’ Spencer told IGN in mid-January 2023.
‘We will continue to work with ESA in terms of their plans. As I said, we’re on the board, and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help make the E3 successful.’
Despite this declaration, IGN reports Xbox will not have a booth on the show floor.
A representative from ReedPop did not comment on the situation when asked by IGN, but shared the following statement in support of the upcoming event:
‘As we spent much of 2022 refining how E3 2023 would take shape, reflecting on the feedback we solicited, we did not send a single contract to an exhibitor until the start of this month. We have received a tremendous amount of interest and verbal commitments from many of the biggest companies in the industry, and when we are ready to announce the exhibitors we are confident it will be a lineup that will make the trip to Los Angeles well worth it for the industry and consumers alike.’
Update 1/2/23: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has now addressed IGN’s report, claiming ReedPop is making ‘strong progress’ in reimagining E3 for the modern era – but it has not provided any evidence to suggest the report is inaccurate.
‘As you have likely seen, IGN published an article last night about E3. While we are not able to comment on the specific claims in the article, we wanted to share our commitment to moving forward with E3,’ the ESA reportedly told its members in a recent memo, per IGN.
‘E3 has a rich history within our industry, and we are always heartened to feel the passion for the show and hear what it means to different people. Reviving a tradeshow after a three-year hiatus and a global pandemic was always going to have its challenges, which is why we conducted an extensive search (in consultation with the ESA member companies) to identify the best partner to produce E3.’
‘[ReedPop has] made strong progress in reshaping the event and have received tremendous support from industry companies of all sizes who are not only thinking about E3 2023, but how E3 fits into marketing plans for 2024 and beyond.’
E3 2023 is set to take place on 13-16 June 2023 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in the United States, and online.