E3 has officially been canned, and will not return

E3, the long-running video game trade event, is officially over.
E3 2024 The Electronic Entertainment Expo reedpop

E3, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the United States and one of the longest running, is officially dead. The event, typically run by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), was planned to return in future – however, it appears a range of mounting circumstances forced the organisation to cease production on upcoming events.

After more than two decades, and countless video game reveals, showcases, celebrations, meetups, and more, the 2021 digital iteration of the show will now officially stand as its last entry. While the LA Tourism Board had seemingly revealed the cancellation of E3 2024 and 2025 earlier this year, we now have confirmation the event will not return.

“We know the entire industry, players and creators alike have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion,” Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA President and CEO told The Washington Post. “We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners.”

Per reporting from TWP, it was a mix of rising competition, changing audience behaviour, and the post-pandemic economy that led to E3’s permanent cancellation. In essence, the ESA believes that audiences have moved on from physical shows, and instead prefer other formats for news.

Read: E3 2024 and E3 2025 cancelled, claims LA Tourism Board

Likewise, the organisation believes publisher and developer behaviour has also changed, with many preferring to host their own individual showcases to cut down on costs, including booth fees and travel expenses.

“There were fans who were invited to attend in the later years, but it really was about a marketing and business model for the industry and being able to provide the world with information about new products,” Pierre-Louis said. “Companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.”

Going forward, he expects individual companies and gaming partners to continue hosting their own showcases, which he describes as “exciting for the industry” as it means these organisations can innovate on new ways to engage modern gaming audiences.

Taking to social media, many game developers, journalists, and attendees are now sharing their favourite stories from E3, with many reflecting on the biggest and most impactful moments from across the event’s history.

“As most of us predicted, E3 is now permanently canceled,” Scott Miller, Founder of 3D Realms said on Twitter / X. “It was the pioneer of game industry events and for 20+ years it was THE main event you had to go to. Apogee was there from the first one in 1995. RIP E3.”

“E3 was the single most defining event of my career, truly nothing compares to the work I did at the show over the years,” host Andrea Rene said. “2019 I had emergency surgery days before E3, forcing me to hobble on a walker across the con because I WOULD NOT stay home. Glad I made it, it was the last E3 ever.”

“So many great E3 memories, where to start?!” Thomas Puha, Communications Director at Remedy Entertainment said. “It was always the highlight of the year for me.”

E3 once represented the pinnacle of video game events – but it appears time and circumstance has now caught up with it. While there was tentative excitement for the showcase to return in 2024, bigger and better than ever, those plans have now officially been scuppered. Long live E3.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.