The E3 trade show, one of the biggest events in the video gaming industry, has been cancelled for 2022 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The move marks the third year in a row that E3 has cancelled its in-person event, with digital versions taking place in 2020 and 2021.
“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,” the Entertainment Software Association said in a statement.
“We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
The association gave its decision several months earlier than in the previous two years, and has not yet announced a digital version of the event, which was to be held in Los Angeles in June.
These details led some to remark on social media that they were concerned for the future of E3, which has been held annually since 1995.
But in recent years the event’s influence has waned, with companies such as Electronic Arts and Sony’s PlayStation declining to attend and holding separate events instead.
Social media, game-streaming sites and YouTube have given gaming companies other ways of reaching fans.
Given such factors, some speculated on social media that E3 might not return as an in-person event at all.
But others recalled the excitement of the show, with one gamer calling it “Gamer Disneyland”, and another saying they “miss seeing friends, getting hyped about releases and dreaming of the future”.
Meanwhile, gaming industry personality Geoff Keighley responded to the news by saying that his own “Summer Game Fest” would return this year.
Keighley’s four-month online event was initially held in 2020 to help fill the void left by E3’s cancellation that year.
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