The Entertainment Software Association announced yesterday that its E3 annual trade show won’t be held in person for the third year in a row. In a statement provided to VentureBeat, the organization cited "the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees.”
The ESA has also confirmed that E3 2022 will once again be a virtual event this year and that the annual show wasn’t going away. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon,” the trade group said.
E3 used to be the biggest event of the video game industry in June of each year, but its influence actually started to wane even before the pandemic hit when big publishers such as Sony or EA decided to stop participating. In the past two years, we’ve seen major video games announcements being spread out across multiple events throughout the summer, and E3 should once again compete with Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has definitely hit the trade show industry pretty hard in the past couple of years, and the recent Omicron surge suggests that things aren’t coming back to normal anytime soon. However, CES 2022 did go as planned in Las Vegas this week despite Microsoft and other big tech companies canceling their physical presence. As of this writing, Mobile World Congress 2022 is also set to come back to Barcelona next month, and the Game Developers Conference is still scheduled as an in-person event in March.