The second effort to return the Electronic Entertainment Expo to an in-person event has come up short.
ReedPop’s annual trade event for the video game industry has canceled its 2023 iteration, which was set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 13-16. This year’s event would have marked the first time it returned in person since 2019. In a statement to The Verge, ReedPop’s global VP of gaming Kyle Marsden-Kish said the issue was “resourcing challenges.”
“This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3. We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome,” Marsden-Kish said. “For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.”
In an email to Entertainment Software Association members sent on Thursday, obtained by IGN and confirmed to the outlet by two sources close to the organization, E3’s 2023 version “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength and impact of our industry.”
In the months leading up to the cancellation announcement, major gaming companies like Nintendo, Microsoft and Ubisoft had all already confirmed they were not participating in the event. And in February, after Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot suggested on an earnings call that E3 may not be happening this year, president of ReedPop Lance Fensterman told The Verge the show was still “full speed ahead,” with confirmed exhibitors.
E3 was first canceled in 2020 amid the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a virtual edition held in 2021 before a planned in-person return for 2022. But that edition was canceled both as an in-person and virtual event. E3 has drawn as many as 65,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors in past editions.