E3 Will Return, In-Person and Virtually, in 2023

E3 has been cancelled twice in the past three years.
E3 has been cancelled twice in the past three years. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

E3 will return in 2023 for both in-person and virtual events, according to its organizer, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The news comes after the ESA has been forced to call off two iterations of the event in the past three years, including one it had initially scheduled for this month.

"We're excited about coming back in 2023 with both a digital and an in-person event," ESA President and CEO Stan Pierre-Louis said in an interview with The Washington Post. "As much as we love these digital events, and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there’s a really strong desire for people to convene — to be able to connect in person and see each other and talk about what makes games great."

For decades, E3 held a position as the most important convention in the gaming calendar, home to countless major announcements and reveals from the biggest companies in the space since it began in 1995. More recently, the expo has struggled to find its footing as companies increasingly make announcements on their own timelines and broadcasts. That trend has only accelerated as COVID-19 put the kibosh on in-person events, and the ESA's reputation after multiple leaks of attendees' personal information.

E3 also faces more competition now than in the past, as Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest has stepped into the void left by E3's repeated cancellations.

Pierre-Louis told The Post that even as companies move toward their own primarily digital presentations, he still believed in E3's approach: a single, massive spectacle filled with games from across the AAA space.

"I think what’s great about all this experimentation is that companies of all sizes are trying to figure out what works best to promote the product and the content that they are looking to share with consumers," he said. "And I think there is a space for a physical show; I think there’s an importance of having digital reach. Combining those two, I think there is a critical element of what we think E3 can provide."

The ESA has yet to announce dates for E3 2023.