Over the last five years, the world has seen a vast change in the E3 show floor. Prior to 2017, E3 was an inclusive event that welcomed only members of the industry. Since opening its doors to the public, many in the industry have fallen divided regarding whether or not the event should pander to the general consumer or the industry only. Today, a representative from Sony announced that Sony will not attend E3 2020.
Despite E3 growing over the last 3 years, Sony will reportedly be sitting out of E3 2020 and focusing on consumer events. This is at least according to the gamesindustry.biz, who has stated that a representative from Sony’s PR firm commented about the upcoming event. At the moment there is no official press release from Sony confirming this information so take it with a grain of salt.
Sony’s Potential Absence from E3
In the article released by gamesindustry.biz, the writer states that the firm representing Sony has told them that Sony does not feel that E3’s vision is right for them and instead will focus on hundreds of consumer events. This unnamed representative is then quoted saying this,
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.
We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”
Is The ESA to Blame?
This is a major blow to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) who manages E3. Many in the industry still do not trust the ESA after accidentally doxing thousands of attendees in 2019. With this announcement, this will be the second year in a row that Sony has not attended the event since its conception in 1995.
Sony wants E3 to be more consumer-oriented similar to EA Play, while others feel that increased attendance is a strain on the event. With the PlayStation 5 scheduled to be released in 2020, it would be shocking for Sony to skip the event entirely especially after seeing previous success from attending the event; however, Sony’s 2020 lineup and beyond is rather lacking in comparison to its competitors, with only Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part 2 being announced.
Hopefully, the ESA will be able to reach an even middle ground for both sides or we could see the death of E3 within the coming years. Could the ESA turn E3 into an event similar to the Tokyo Game Show to appease both sides? We will just have to wait and see.