Reports suggest E3 2023 could be canceled after losing even more publishers

E3 2023 dates
(Image credit: ESA/ReedPop)

Update - March 30: A new report claims that E3 2023 has indeed been canceled after failing to "garner the sustained interest necessary," no doubt partly as a result of multiple major publishers withdrawing from the show.

Original story follows...

E3 2023 could be canceled altogether amid reports that even more publishers have dropped out, leaving the future of the once hallmark video game showcase in limbo.

A new report from IGN claims both Sega and Tencent have pulled their E3 2023 appearances as rumors swirl about whether the event will happen at all. This comes a day after Ubisoft said it will skip this year's E3 and hold its own show instead.

IGN's report cites PR and publishing sources who say they aren't certain of anyone who is definitely attending E3 2023. These sources note that a lack of communication from both the ESA and organizer ReedPop only compounded their uncertainty about what to expect from the event. One source told IGN before Ubisoft had canceled that "there's no possible way this show can happen."

The report goes on to say there are other publishers which have decided not to attend this year's conference but have yet to make official announcements. Part of the problem, apparently, is that massive disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic have changed the way publishers produce, announce, and release games, and this has made hands-on demos for summer showcases less of a priority. Bandai Namco has only committed to the summer Play Days event, for example, and Devolver Digital is still planning its own Devolver Direct. 

Many publishers have also yet to fully rebuild their events teams and budgets after they were dramatically cut in the wake of the pandemic. Companies are seemingly more comfortable allocating resources for events that aren't in flux, as E3 has been for the last few years.

Of course, we learned back in January that Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox would all be no-shows at 2023's E3 showcase. At the time, we were somewhat confident that the event would soldier on without the Big Three, but that's looking less certain by the day.

We've reached out to the ESA and ReedPop for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

E3 or not, here are all of the new games of 2023 we can't wait to play.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.