E3 organizers, ESA, have announced that the annual video game event will not have a physical show in 2022 because of COVID-19 Omicron concerns. The game event may have a digital offering instead, similar to 2021’s E3, but nothing is certain just yet.
ESA issued a statement saying, “Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022. We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.” While the June 2022 physical show for E3 has only been officially canceled just now, many journalists surmise that the event had actually been canceled before Christmas.
The annual gaming show has been losing its relevance in recent years, with companies like Sony and EA choosing not to take part, even when E3 was an in-person event. Instead, the companies have opted to hold their own online briefings later in the summer.
Geoff Keighley, games journalist and TV presenter, has also created some competition for E3. Summer Game Fest 2021 was a digital event organized by Keighley which revealed some of the biggest game announcements last year. Keighley also ran August’s Gamescom Opening Night Live and hosted The Game Awards 2021, both of which created even more competition for E3.
Upon ESA’s announcement about E3 2022, Keighley released the following tweet to remind gamers where to look for this year’s game announcements.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) January 6, 2022
E3 was last held in person in 2019, with the first one ever occurring twenty-six years ago on May 11, 1995. The event has traditionally taken place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and has been a staple in the gaming community for years. Before the creation of E3, game developers would make their announcements at CES. However, as the game industry rapidly expanded throughout the early 1990s, the industry outgrew the tech show, and thus E3 was born.
Only time will tell, but E3 2019 could very well have been the event’s last in-person show.