E3 returns after a year of absence. The gaming event will be available via a free live stream and will take place from June 12-15.
Last year was the largest game fair in the world not continue for reasons that we no longer have to explain to you. This year the event will take place again anyway, albeit in a different form. After already communicating it ‘on the record’ to game news website IGN, organizer ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has publicly announced that the fair will not be moving to its permanent location in Los Angeles, but will be followed via a (completely) free live stream. We have gotten used to it in the meantime. The digital edition of E3 will take place from June 12-15.
“For more than two decades, E3 has been the prime event to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer. The world is now more connected than ever through games. We are therefore evolving this year towards a more inclusive event. We will still be thrilling fans with big revelations and an exclusive look. The elements that have made E3 the centerpiece of video games ”, it reads in the announcement.
Some big names from the video game industry have already confirmed their participation. Nintendo, Xbox, Konami and Ubisoft will be there as usual. There are also some notable absentees: EA, Sony and Activision may be sending their cat. That is not necessarily due to the digital format. The developers have been in conflict with the organization in recent years, so they preferred not to come.
The magic is gone
The decision to go digital E3 is met with mixed feelings among gamers and game journalists. A digital event may be better than nothing, but they can rarely, if ever, create the atmosphere of a physical event. E3 has been going on since 1995 and has had major announcements in the past. The first PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 4, among others, were unveiled to the general public during the fair.
Yet many feel that E3 is no longer the event it once was. The phasing out already started in 2007, when the fair was kept on a smaller scale under pressure from the major players. After two years, ESA decided to go back to the classic formula. Since then, many game developers have started to do more of their own thing and decouple their big announcements from the exchange. Also this year we do not seem to expect any shocking announcements now that the next-gen consoles are already on the market.