E3, biggest US video game expo, cancels June conference


Video game expo E3 is cancelling its June event, citing health concerns during the pandemic, though analyst suggest it was prompted by loss of support by game publishers. — E3

E3, the biggest annual video game expo in the US, canceled its event in June, citing health concerns surrounding Covid-19.

Calling off the conference five months in advance is unusual. CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the US, pressed ahead with its event this week in Las Vegas, even as the omicron variant surges.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s top video game publishers unveiled their slate of new titles at E3 in Los Angeles each summer and gave attendees the first chance to play them. Over the last two years, publishers moved the reveals online.

Last year, E3 staged a digital event in coordination with several publishers. Some heavyweights, including Electronic Arts Inc. and Sony Group Corp., have elected to go their own way and hold online announcements separate from E3.

Both of those companies, along with others such as Activision Blizzard Inc., had pulled out of E3 even before the pandemic in a sign of game publishers’ increased lack of reliance on the conference.

The Entertainment Software Association, which organises the conference, didn’t say whether it will hold an online event this year. Mike Futter, an analyst at F-Squared, said the demise of this year’s show was months in the making and likely driven by a lack of support from game publishers. – Bloomberg

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