E3 is officially finished, bringing about the end of an era cover image

E3 is officially finished, bringing about the end of an era

The ESA has confirmed that the Electronic Entertainment Expo, our dear E3, has officially been forever canceled.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is near and dear to the hearts of gamers. For nearly 20 years, it was the showcase of showcases. We'd all watch E3 to see the biggest game and console reveals, alongside the hardware that would lead us into the future.

Eventually, it was no longer the pinnacle of gaming it once was. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the 2020 edition to be cancelled, the 2021 version was virtual, and 2022 was then again cancelled. Citing a "lack of sustained interest," a 2023 E3 never took place either. And now, the event is officially dead.

A brief history of the Electronic Entertainment Expo

(Image via ESA)
(Image via ESA)

The very first E3 too place in May 1995. Back then, presenters included Atari, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and more. Not much has changed, as those names are still very much the powerhouses of the gaming industry.

An attendance of 50,000 was marked at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Years went by with tens-of-thousands of attendees as the expo looked to shape video games and entertainment for the better. After more than a decade, less public access and a shift towards media focused turned things sour.

(Image via ESA)
(Image via ESA)

The 2008 edition of the expo only saw just 5,000 visitors. That is officially the lowest attended E3 in history. Next year, they righted the wrong and 41,000 joined the party, but at that point, it seemed too far gone.

Over the following decade, developers and publishers began to try out their own shows. Examples of this are EA Play, Nintendo Direct, and PlayStation Showcase. Though beloved, E3's time would soon be up because of cancellations and many opting to no longer reveal their products at the expo.

ESA says GGWP as we say goodbye to E3

As it stands, the last in-person E3 was in June 2019. The Electronic Entertainment Experience, an online variant, in 2021 is now considered the last ever edition of the expo. And as of December 12, 2023, the Electronic Entertainment Expo has ceased.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the trade association of the video game industry. It has organized E3 since day one, and has come out with a final goodbye to what was once the Mecca of gaming and entertainment.

"After more than two decades of E3, each on bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye.

"Thanks for the memories.


Good game, well played indeed. It is unfortunate, but the writing was on the walls. So long E3. It was a good run and if anyone deserves to rest easy, it's you.

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