E3, one of the world’s largest video game conventions, will close permanently, its organizers said Tuesday, ending what was once an annual ritual for gamers and creators after struggling for years to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving industry.
“After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye,” its hosts, the nonprofit Entertainment Software Association, announced on its website. website. “Thanks for the memories,” she would say, adding “GGWP,” or good game, well played.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, has been held every year since 1995, primarily in Los Angeles, except when it was canceled during the pandemic. It was one of the most prominent places where game creators showed off their creations to fans before going on sale, sometimes with dazzling demos. Celebrities like Eminem and Rihanna appeared.
E3 was originally aimed at journalists and industry professionals. But the convention attracted so many fans that organizers reduced it to an invitation-only conference in 2007. It still attracted up to 50,000 industry members each June.
E3 later faced competition from fan-focused conventions such as Comic-Con, Penny Arcade Expo, and MineCon, which grew in popularity. It also lost partners, including Nintendo and Sony, which reduced their presence and opted to reveal new games elsewhere.
Player habits have also changed. As physical games, with discs in boxes, fell in popularity, mobile games rose, overtaking PC games in revenue in 2016. The gaming business shifted to digital distribution.
During the pandemic, organizers canceled E3 in 2020 and made it virtual in 2021. It was canceled again in 2022 and never recovered. The permanent cancellation of E3 was previously reported by The Washington Post.
After announcing the end of E3, the Entertainment Software Association said the social media which remained “focused on advocating for ESA member companies and the industry’s workforce.”