E3 2022 will be a online-only event - ESA cites COVID-19 concerns
2022's biggest gaming event will be hosted virtually
Published: 6th January 2022 | Source: GamesBeat |
E3 will be online-only in 2022
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed that 2022's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will be an online-only event, with the organisers citing "ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19".
The ESA originally planned to bring back E3 as an in-person event this year, but the arrival and spread of Omicron has created another wave of COVID cases across the world. This makes hosting a global conference risky, and even if the ESA were to go ahead with an in-person E3 event, the event isn't guaranteed to be attended as many developers, gamers, or media organisations as prior years.
CES 2022 is currently underway as an in-person event, and when compared to prior years attendance is poor. A large number of major companies pulled out of the in-person event and a lot of media organisations didn't send staff to cover the in-person event. Similar things could happen to E3, had the ESA committed to an in-person event.
Below is a statement from the ESA, as made to GamesBeat;
Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,
We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.
E3 2022's digital-only event will likely lead to wider criticisms of the Expo, as many publishers already see the event as overly expensive in today's digital age. Sony has avoided E3 for multiple years and it has had little impact on their ability to garner the attention of gamers and the media. Similarly, many other publishers have already snubbed E3 by creating E3-adjacent events outside of the main Expo.
Now that E3 has once again moved to an all-digital format, the long-term viability of E3 will once again be called into question. In a world where most large-scale game developers and publishers can grab the media's attention without the ESA, why should E3 exist? Most gamers already view their E3 content via the internet, and that fact alone makes the expense of E3 harder than ever to justify. It may only be a matter of time before E3 as we know it is dead.