ESA CEO on E3 shutdown: ‘video game companies have new and exciting ways to reach people’

E3 2014
E3 2014 (Image credit: Shutterstock/Barone Firenze)

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Electronic Entertainment Expo - better known as E3 - has been permanently shut down, following its cancellation in 2020, 2022, and 2023 (and shift online in 2021). Now, Stanley Pierre-Louis, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which organized E3, has spoken more about the reasoning behind the decision.

For context, E3 was a trade event that ran yearly in Los Angeles from 1995 until 2019. It was a huge staple in gaming enthusiasts’ calendars since it was home to the biggest video game reveals, and consequently some of the most iconic moments in the industry. Just to name a few, some of the best examples include the unveiling of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (the 2004 version), God of War (2018), and Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Needless to say, it was a fan-favorite event, and in the announcement of its permanent closure, Pierre-Louis said: "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.” 

In an interview with GamesBeat, Pierre-Louis has now doubled down on that sentiment. When asked how things got to this point, although he didn’t settle on a sole reason, he explained: “Video game companies now have a variety of outlets to promote their games, to introduce fans to new worlds, to experiment with new kinds of characters and experiences. We see it every week. Last week we had the rollout of Epic’s metaverse. If you go each week before that, there’s a great game that got released or a new opportunity for people to engage with a video game world that they didn’t know about or decided to explore again.”

He continued, reiterating that “video game companies have new and exciting ways to reach people” which can be done “on a timetable that meets their business needs.” However, he added: “This doesn’t take away from the need to bring people together. We’ll think about exploring ways to bring everyone together to tell a story about the industry. I don’t know what form that will take.”

For now, it seems that as we advance, the big gaming events of the year will be limited to The Game Awards, Gamescom, and Summer Game Fest - the latter of which has already been confirmed to be returning next June. 

Are you on the lookout for some fantastic games to play over the holidays? Be sure to check out our recommendations of the best PS5 games, best Xbox Series X games, and best Nintendo Switch games

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.