E3 is dead, confirms ESA president

A photo of a crowd at E3 2014 in monochrome
(Image credit: ESA)

After over two decades, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is coming to an end. 

Stanley Pierre-Louis, president of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced the trade association's intention to bring the event to a close (via The Washington Post). 

"We know it’s difficult to say goodbye to such a beloved event, but it’s the right thing to do given the new opportunities our industry has to reach fans and partners,” said Pierre-Louis. 

E3 began back in 1995 as a trade event for the video games industry but soon grew to become the most important event in the gaming calendar for many. However, the pandemic of 2020 saw the expo go on hiatus, returning as an online-only event in 2021, before being postponed again in 2022.  

While many expected a return in 2023, the event was canceled, stymied by a lack of interest from big publishers. At the time, Pierre-Louis blamed an "altered" development timeline due to COVID, an "economic headwind" that made companies reassess their investments in large-scale events and a new "balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities."

Despite not occurring in a formal capacity, however, 2023 did give us an 'E3 period' with plenty of showcases and reveals on offer. However, the majority of these occurred as predominantly online events, taking place in the form of streams.

For some, this news will not come as a surprise, as it was announced back in September that E3 would not be returning to Los Angeles - its traditional stomping ground. The parting of ways between the ESA and event organizer ReedPop was, perhaps, the final nail in the expo's coffin.

While the gauntlet of summer gaming previews remains as strong as ever, it looks as though an era has come to an end with the passing of E3. While the online 'direct' format has done wonderful things to make the summer showcases more accessible, it is also a loss to the industry to have one fewer place to connect with like-minded professionals in an atmosphere of excitement and camaraderie. Rest well, E3, and thanks for everything. 

Want to know what the future holds for video games? Check out our list of upcoming games. If you want something new to play now, however, our round-ups of the best single-player games and best co-op games might be for you.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.