E3 2023 is canceled, and after a rocky few years in which its intended audience has increasingly questioned the expo's place in the yearly calendar, some are already mourning the show as gone for good.
To be clear, the show's organizers haven't committed one way or another to a show next year. But with the departure of Sony and Nintendo a few years ago, the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19, and the rising tide of competitors - both those run by publishers like Microsoft and Ubisoft, or those like Summer Games Fest - a clear sentiment has emerged: E3 is probably dead, and we should mourn its passing.
Since last night's announcement, reactions have poured in from developers and journalists reminiscing over their attendance of the expo, its importance to their careers, and the wild moments that could only happen on stage, from Reggie 'My Body is Ready' Fils-Amie to Keanu 'You're Breathtaking' Reeves.
Games have always held such a special place in my heart since I was a kid, and E3 was the highlight of gaming for me every single year since I started following along in 1999. The anticipation, hype, surprise...industry coming together. Can't be replicated.I miss it dearly. pic.twitter.com/wkibquHiKWMarch 30, 2023
genuinely quite sad about this, especially given the tone of the statement does not have me optimistic that it returns. E3 2017 was what made me want to do this for a career. I am sad I never got to do an E3 with IGN. I think media access will get worse as a result. Stinks.March 30, 2023
When I was a kid I used to bike to the library each day to catch up on all the E3 reveals (we didn't have high speed internet).Eventually started watching it live and it was always the most exciting time of the year. Sad that it's most likely gone and I never got to attend one. pic.twitter.com/ay3nwNGdhfMarch 30, 2023
E3 doesn't come back this time, does it? Mixed feelings for me. A huge part of my career, but not something I really enjoyed attending anymore, even before the pandemic. I do think something substantial is being lost though. Many cool people I wouldn't have met without it. pic.twitter.com/1aBM6sjHUKMarch 30, 2023
What a shame, I had the pleasure to work my ass off at three E3s and they were all great times. A hard graft and bizarre treasured adventures outside the show. I shall miss it. https://t.co/hO0qmbbZYj pic.twitter.com/KUjZbkSVBDMarch 31, 2023
Over on Reddit, players have been posting their own reactions. One user said "I know it hasn't been E3 for a while but I'm really going to miss the concentrated week of gaming news." Another said "having no school and just sitting back and watching it all with my brother was always special. Good or bad, E3 season was always fun to discuss and watch. Sad that I couldn't go to one before it ended."
The overall sentiment, among both players and industry professionals, is that as much as E3's place in the world was becoming increasingly uncertain, and however much the show had struggled to make a case for itself in a changing landscape, it was an important milestone of excitement. The term 'Gamer Christmas' wasn't thrown around lightly, after all.
The summer conference season will continue - Microsoft has made its plans clear already, and it's likely that several other major publishers will follow suit. Our very own digital showcase, the Future Games Show, and its sister event PC Gaming Show, will take place during mid June (dates TBC) and we look forward to sharing more details in due course.
To keep an eye on how that run of shows shapes up, here's our E3 2023 schedule.