E3 2023 has been cancelled, the organisers from ReedPop and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have revealed, with the iconic gaming trade show set to take another year off.

The last E3 to happen in real life took place in summer 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with the 2020 and 2021 editions clearly being unfeasible due to the pandemic.

Since then, the annual event has struggled to find its footing in a world where most gaming publishers, whenever they have new information to share, tend to host their own events in the form of digital live streams. Keep on reading to learn more about the E3 cancellation.

Why has E3 2023 been cancelled?

In a statement obtained by VGC, ReedPop's Kyle Marsden-Kish said: "This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what's right for the industry and what's right for E3."

Hinting at the reasons for this cancellation, he added: "We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn't have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn't overcome."

Indeed, you may have already seen the stories in recent weeks of big companies like Ubisoft deciding to drop out of the show despite making earlier promises to appear.

GamesIndustry.biz, the trusted business-to-business publication that is owned by ReedPop, has run a lengthy interview with ESA president Stanley Pierre-Louis on the matter. It's worth reading the whole piece if you've got time.

When asked what went wrong, in a memorable excerpt from the interview, he highlighted three reasons: "First, several companies have reported that the timeline for game development has been altered since the start of the COVID pandemic."

Pierre-Louis continued: "Second, economic headwinds have caused several companies to reassess how they invest in large marketing events. And third, companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities."

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Will E3 2023 be rescheduled?

No, this year's E3 will not be rescheduled. This is an outright cancellation as opposed to a delay or postponement.

Splashed all over its homepage, the official E3 website had made this point in no uncertain terms.

The statement on the website says: "Show organizer ReedPop announces E3 2023 will not take place as scheduled this June, with both physical and digital events canceled."

Will E3 ever return?

That, arguably, is the most interesting of these three questions. It does seem possible that E3 could still return in future, although no promises have been made at this point regarding what shape it will take.

On the aforementioned official E3 website, where ReedPop and the ESA confirmed the cancellation, it is said that "both parties will re-evaluate the future of E3".

The statement shared with VGC also noted that the ESA and ReedPop will continue to work together on "future E3 events".

And in the GamesIndustry.biz interview, the ESA president was asked outright if the plan is for E3 to return in 2024.

He said: "We're committed to providing an industry platform for marketing and convening but we want to make sure we find that right balance that meets the needs of the industry."

He added: "We're certainly going to be listening and ensuring whatever we want to offer meets those needs and at that time, we will have more news to share." If and when that news does come, we'll be sure to pass it on.

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