Always count on a video game thing to be sitting on a secret extra life: The Electronic Entertainment Expo, a.k.a. E3, a.k.a. the big summer event where video game companies show off their hot new video games, is coming back. The event was canceled in 2020, like most things, capping off a period of increasing irrelevance for a live, in-person showcase that wasn’t even open to the public until recently (and we’ve noted this before, but the fact that Sony and Microsoft both launched new consoles in 2020 without an E3 to hype them up says a lot). The event went fully online in 2021, but due to COVID delays in the video game industry and general instability across the whole planet, it wasn’t a particularly exciting year.
This year, E3 was canceled again, with the Entertainment Software Association (which puts the event on) insisting that it would come back in 2023 with some kind of “reinvigorated” take on the concept. We didn’t buy it at the time, because who would, and also because Geoff Keighley—the class president of video games—immediately filled the gap left by E3 with his own Summer Game Fest event (which had its own problems, some of which were not his fault).
But now E3 really is coming back in 2023, with the ESA teaming up with ReedPop to produce the event. ReedPop, for those who haven’t seen the name on a banner in a convention hall, also produces PAX, Star Wars Celebration, and the New York Comic Con. In a press release, ReedPop promises “digital showcases” and “in-person consumer components,” plus “titanic AAA reveals, earth-shaking world premieres, and exclusive access to the future of video games.” The press release also mentions that next year’s E3 will “welcome back publishers, developers, journalists, content creators, manufacturers, buyers, and licensors.”
We’ll presumably know more about what to expect as we get closer to next summer, but one thing to keep an eye out for is a new rivalry that this will create: At the end of this year’s Summer Game Fest, Keighley announced that the 2023 version of his event would be digital and in-person, seemingly putting these two showcases in direct competition with each other.