E3 2022 cancelled: No more spectacular trade fairs and conferences?

News event E3 2022 cancelled: No more spectacular trade fairs and conferences?

A true thrill ride in video games, E3 has been playing the emotional elevator for two years now. In 2020, the outbreak of the health crisis forced him to close the store for a while, before returning to a 100% digital event the following year. But in 2022, there’s just no show, online or in person. Information foreshadowing the end of shows and conference shows?

Maybe one day we’ll sing “I’m tell you about a time that under-20s can’t know” about the famous E3 conferences. Because here three years since the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Centers have not vibrated to the sound of booming announcements. And it’s not ready to work out yet. Recently we learned thecancellation unequivocally from the 2022 edition of the most famous American show devoted to video games. “We will devote all of our energy and resources to delivering a physical and digital version of E3 next summer” explains the ESA, which organizes the event, in the columns ofIGN† The company says it will skip this year’s meeting to “focus its resources” on the next one, in 2023.

A surprising announcement. However, in January, the ESA confirmed the return of a 100% online E3 for 2022, just like the previous edition, and claimed to be “incredibly excited” about the future of the show. A comforting facade that hides a less brilliant reality? At least that’s what Jeff Grubb, a journalist for VentureBeat, a well-known industry insider thinks. Aside from the cancellation of E3 a few months ago, the man speak of this year’s event as a “brothel”† To make matters worse, the announcement came not directly from ESA, but from a message Twitter from Razer’s PR manager. To date, there is no official press release on the subject on the ESA’s official site or that of E3.

“Just received an email… It’s official, E3 digital has been completely canceled for 2022. Lots of mixed feelings on the subject…” – Will Powers (Razer), on Twitter

Rethink everything

To date, we don’t know the exact reasons why the company canceled E3 2022. However, last year the show had managed to save the furniture and bring together very big names in the industry – Ubisoft, Xbox, Square Enix… – with many conferences over three days, a year after the outbreak of the health crisis and canceling the 2020 edition. A solution that is more like . today a patch instead of a complete revival† Already because the event invited publishers to perform in formats already developed internally, under the effect of Covid restrictions (for example, Ubisoft Forward, not “Ubisoft E3 Conference”). And because of course the ESA has lost more than it has gained in organizing the 2021 edition.

As it stands, it is impossible to know whether the publishers had to pay any fees for participating in the online show (the ESA press releases are not clear on the subject), but one thing is certain: compared to the classic format, physically , the deficit must be significant† On the social network Quora, David Mullich, industry veteran and director of many parts of the Might and Magic license, says: appreciated renting a large E3 stage for around $100,000. Of course, not everything goes into the pockets of the ESA. The Convention Centers also have their share. Added to this is the public admission ticket, another major source of revenue in normal times ($250 in 2019 for 3 days of show), while the 2021 edition, 100% online, was free. Not to mention the cost of making the event compatible with a digital version, including a brand new mobile application.

for cheap

In short, the chances are very high that a digital E3 will be much less viable than a physical show. Still, today it would be difficult to see publishers rushing to the convention center doors to resume show conferences, as in the good old days. After the health crisis came, the big JV players understood that they could communicate at a lower cost, inspired by formats such as Nintendo Direct (in existence since 2011) or EA Play Live, which is traditionally kept on the sidelines of E3. † Publishers have therefore created airtime themselves, but above all, new initiatives have emerged with the aim of uniting video game makers. The most famous of these is undoubtedly the Summer Game Fest of Geoff Keighley, journalist and insider who is already responsible for organizing the Game Awards at the end of each year. The man quickly responded to Twitter after announcing the cancellation of E3, posting a Wink quite suggestive. A few minutes later, he revealed the date of his Summer Game Fest 2022.

“There’s no bigger fan than me of what an event like E3 means to the industry. I’ve been to every E3 for 25 years. As the industry evolves, the way our industry comes together has to evolve too.” – Geoff Keighley, op Twitter

just different

All in all, it would be hard to bet on a return of the famous E3 show conferences. However, this does not mean that the masses of video games have died out† On the sidelines of the individual shows, editors for editors, there are the evenings with a slew of middle-aged actors who seem to have the coast. Like the one from Summer Game Fest 2021 – where we saw the real first images ofElden Ring — or the traditional Gamescom Opening Night Live, which returns on August 23. So yes, online events, but why not imagine a physical version when the Covid is over, Game Awards style?

In each case, the physical exchanges are not ready to stop† For example, Gamescom is opting for a hybrid approach this year, with activities in Cologne and also online. And for the Tokyo Game Show it will clearly be – finally – a return to normal. Like CES 2022, moreover, under fire from critics for pretending nothing had happened in January, without taking into account the health risk. Above all, it should not be forgotten: these encounters are an opportunity for both players and professionals. Here they often make important contacts and discover great opportunities.

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