Despite the cancellations of prior years and the general uncertainty about its future, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) just announced that the E3 games expo will be returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center as a live event next year. So if you want to brave crowds of sweaty gamers to get a glimpse of upcoming releases, you’ll finally be able to do so.
The show will take place from June 13 to 16. Digital events will also run starting from June 11 to the end of the convention. E3 2023 will start with several press- and industry-only days, after which the doors will open to fans looking to have a good time trying all the latest games. The convention’s industry attendees will meet from June 13-15, while June 15-16 are the “Gamer Days” for fans. This is similar to how Gamescom runs, and should help alleviate the miserable congestion that plagued E3 ever since it opened to the public. Though E3 has traditionally been an industry-facing event, its organizers are trying to make it more fan-friendly by having a dedicated theater, allowing them to meet developers, and hosting content creators.
Reedpop—the same organizer behind PAX and New York Comic Con—took over the convention last year, and it’s got big plans for it. “Our vision is to reunite the industry by re-establishing the traditional E3 week, bring back that spark, and restore E3's role as a truly magical global showcase event for game creators and consumers,” said VP of Gaming Kyle Marsden-Kish.
Reedpop does have experience running consumer-facing events, but it might have been overly optimistic. Publishers have already been running their own showcase events for years now, and much of the hype cycle has gone fully or partially digital. Even structurally, game announcements are being made sporadically throughout the year instead of concentrated around one major annual event in June.
I’m sure that E3 will be fine. I’m just not certain I would call it “magical.” If you plan to go, just make sure to get the newest coronavirus booster before then.