E3, the Electric Entertainment Expo, is the largest annual gaming exposition event, however, it is canceled for this coming summer.
This event allowed the industry’s largest developers to showcase their games and give updates on upcoming titles.
Each company would have a time slot of roughly an hour to showcase its updates.
However, over the last few years, many companies have switched their strategy from this large-scale showcase to holding their own events.
Nintendo pioneered the livestream updates with their “Nintendo Directs”, which were 30-60 minute videos of updates on their games.
Many companies began to follow suit with Sony’s “State of Play” and Xbox’s “Showcase Live.” Companies have shifted to this format over the once a year E3 showcase for many reasons.
Firstly, this format allows the companies to have full control over their showcase. There is no time limit, no variables where things can go wrong and there are no limits on what can be shown. If they have the content ready, it can be shown. They no longer have to obey the timeline of having games to showcase by E3’s early June deadline.
Secondly, COVID-19 made the live aspect of E3 impossible. 2020 E3 was held remotely, with companies showing their updates in livestream form during their time slot. Since then, developers have been shifting towards this livestream format.
Over the last few years, the quality of E3’s presentations has greatly declined. Many gamers rate each developer’s presentations each year, and the ratings have dramatically fallen. When asked about the quality of recent year’s showcases, Capital gamers say it’s been “rushed” or “incomplete, with many missing important games.”
Having E3 to look forward to each year is exciting because it always means new game announcements. But if the quality falls, this new format is much more viable for viewers and developers.
Nintendo has begun making game-specific livestreams, such as Pokemon and Super Smash Brothers. Pokemon has ties to movies, physical toys, games and apparel, so it’s understandable why it gets its own stream. It’s possible that other developers will use this format for their larger titles.
E3 plans to return next year with “a reinvigorated showcase”, says the Entertainment Software Association when confirming the cancellation of the physical and digital E3 2022.
They explained, “Instead, we will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer. Whether enjoyed from the show floor or your favorite devices, the 2023 showcase will bring the community, media, and industry back together in an all-new format and interactive experience.”