Exclusive: Xbox, Nintendo and Sony will not be part of E3 2023

E3’s first physical event in four years was supposed to be a triumphant return to the trade fair — a chance to relive some of the excitement from past conventions, which have historically been key showcase events for the gaming industry.

However, it looks like when E3 2023 hits the Los Angeles Convention Center in June, it’ll be without three of its biggest draws. IGN has heard from several insiders that Xbox, Sony and Nintendo will not be a part of E3 2023 or have a presence at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This information comes on the heels of Xbox’s announcement last week that it will be Back to Los Angeles for its annual summer show While he refused to confirm if he will be part of the show itself.

Speaking with IGN last weekXbox CEO Phil Spencer said the platform owner is signing off on its bid with E3 at an “opportune moment for press and even consumers” at the event, meaning it will likely line up roughly with the event itself. Spencer also emphasized general Xbox support for E3 and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). However, IGN understands that Xbox will not have a booth at the show.

“E3, for me, is one of the defining moments in gaming. I love the history of coming down to LA, the thousands of people there, to see cool new things… getting to know the people in the industry, the fans, the events we’ve witnessed. I definitely want that to continue, Spencer said.

“Xbox is on the ESA board, and I think having a successful and healthy ESA is critical to what we’re trying to do. So we’re positioning our show, as we’ve always done, at a time that we hope will be convenient for the press and even consumers that will be attending the E3 event, and that’s what we’re trying to do now. We’ll continue to work with ESA regarding their plans. As I said, we’re on the board, and we want to make sure we do everything we can to help make E3 a success.”

Xbox’s current plans for the show are still uncertain, but in previous years it’s held demos, preview events, and pressure mixers. Internally, Xbox has recently been plagued by layoffs and other interruptions, forcing it to tighten its belt after a year that saw virtually no major releases.

Xbox’s decision not to have an official presence on the show floor at E3 comes as a surprise given its support of the event in the past. Of the so-called “big three,” it seems like it’s most likely to be at E3, not least because it is Several major releases to promote in 2023including Starfield

Nintendo has also traditionally maintained a booth at the E3 show even after it pioneered the “Direct” format. However, IGN has heard from sources around the industry that neither Nintendo nor Sony will be at E3 2023, though PlayStation was originally discontinued in 2019 About reported disagreements with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It is currently unclear if Nintendo and Sony plan to stage a show for the event.

Representatives for Nintendo, Sony, Xbox and ESA did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication. ReedPop provided the following statement.

E3 is an important event in the gaming industry, and entrusting you with an important cultural mission is not the responsibility of ReedPop. Since ReedPop came up with the E3 operating contract six months ago, we’ve worked diligently with ESA members based on their feedback to create a new kind of E3 that supports their goals and needs.

This process has taken time due to the large amount of stakeholders providing input, although we appreciate that we could have been more transparent to the questions we are still finalizing answers to. We continue to work tirelessly to create a show that brings together the global gaming industry. We believe we have created a new event format that caters to both the industry and its fans, and we are committed to building and growing it in the years to come.

As we spent a good portion of 2022 refining how E3 2023 would unfold, reflecting the feedback we requested, we didn’t send a single contract to an exhibitor until the beginning of this month. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of interest and word-of-mouth commitments from many of the largest companies in the industry, and when we’re ready to announce our exhibitors, we’re confident it will be a group that will make the trip to Los Angeles worth it. industry and consumers alike.

“Big hit for E3”

The news is likely a huge blow to E3, which is trying to re-establish itself with the help of event company ReedPop, analyst Ampere Piers Harding-Rolls told IGN. “The show floor is sure to lose the buzz and scale of stand-up podiums.”

With Microsoft already confirming a summer showcase, Rolls says it’s “possible that Xbox hype will spread through E3.” However, the uncertainty around Nintendo in particular could dampen things.

“It’s unfortunate that the physical event will return when Nintendo is at the end of the Switch’s lifecycle, with no sign of a next-gen device this year,” says Rolls. “I’m not sure there will be many games to show this year, so it makes sense to skip it.”

As for Sony, Rolls noted that it’s been skipping big events for “a few laps now.”

“It doesn’t preclude an online show of some sort in the same window, but based on recent history, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to hear that he plans to skip E3 2023 as well,” he explains. “All three companies have an effective online display strategy in place, which gives them good flexibility to mix and match their promotional activity during, before or after major traditional events.”

According to an insider, there have been “ongoing frustrations” with the European Space Agency over the past three years, which they claim has “incredibly mishandled the E3 brand over the past three years.” They corroborated other IGN sources in saying that several major E3 organizers had left ESA, “leaving a new group to sweep after them”, and criticized ReedPop’s approach to the event.

The source claims ReedPop started contacting publishers about E3 last fall while promising to book places in December. But with less than six months left until E3, sources say there’s “a lot of missing information.”

There just isn’t a good sense of understanding what this show is going to be or how it’s going to come together, which is strange for a company that does such great work with PAX twice a year.

“There just isn’t a good sense of having an understanding of what this show is going to be or how it’s going to come together, which is strange for a company that does such an amazing job with PAX twice a year,” they told IGN. “Looks like they would be the perfect sponsors for something like E3. So who knows where the problem lies: Is it an ESA problem? Is it a ReedPop problem?… But there seems to be a lot of real interest from game publishers in the E3 concept, but it’s really frustrating.” We don’t have good solutions.”

With little clarity over whether E3 will represent a good return on investment, and the tech space more uncertain than ever, many publishers seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach to E3 2023, at least for now.

“The flow of information wasn’t great. I don’t think anyone would want to be the first out there?” claimed IGN’s source, which backs up other conversations we’ve had about the industry.

Last year, the European Space Agency confirmed that E3 2023 It will take place from June 13-16, with the 15th and 16th being “E3 Gamer Days” open to the public. It is organized in collaboration with ReedPop, the company responsible for Star Wars Celebration, New York Comic Con, and PAX [Disclosure: I am a former ReedPop employee, where I was in charge of running the now-defunct USgamer until 2020].

Events are trying to recover from the hammer blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the cancellation of major events in the gaming industry and beyond. E3 sought to join Gamescom, PAX and other consumer events in returning in 2022, But it was eventually cancelled.

This year will finally see the event return, but with digital shows more prevalent than ever and major first parties unlikely to appear, it may be a while before E3 returns to anything approaching its former status.

This article has been updated with a statement from ReedPop.

Kat Bailey is a senior news editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have advice? Send her a direct message at the_katbot.

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