E3 2024 in doubt as producers end partnership after one year

If there is an E3 2024, it won't be held at the LA Convention Center

E3 2020

Things are looking grim for the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2024, but the lobby group behind the once-popular gaming trade show believes 2025 is its comeback year.

The details come via a report from GamesIndustry.biz, which says ReedPop, the organizer for events like PAX, won’t work on future E3 events. Moreover, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the group behind E3, reportedly informed the Los Angeles Convention Center — the traditional home of E3 — that it won’t put on a show there in 2024.

While the ESA has not officially cancelled plans for a 2024 E3, if there is an event, it won’t be in LA.

Instead, GamesIndustry.biz reports that the ESA is working on a “complete reinvention” of E3 for 2025.

The ESA had initially partnered with ReedPop to reimagine E3 after the trade show had a few rough years. There was no E3 in 2020 or 2022, with only a poorly-received digital event in 2021. E3 was set to return to physical events in 2023 with the ReedPop partnership, but the event was ultimately cancelled after no publishers confirmed attendance (and multiple companies, including PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, Ubisoft, and Sega, confirmed they wouldn’t attend).

The decision to end the partnership between the ESA and ReedPop was reportedly “mutual.”

ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis told GamesIndustry.biz that the group is exploring how it can evolve and is ” evaluating every aspect of [E3], from format to location.”

While that seems to leave the door open for a potential 2024 event, I have doubts the ESA will be able to pull one off. Aside from recent stumbles, there’s been a long-running conversation about the relevance of E3 dating as far back as before the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in 2019, PlayStation withdrew from the show, while Xbox and EA held their own events in LA. Moreover, many companies have switched to video presentations and streams — especially over the pandemic — that allow them to reach viewers at home without the added expense of renting physical space or setting up booths at convention centres.

With that in mind, even if ESA does E3 2024 in a new location, it seems unlikely game publishers will participate.

Header image credit: ESA

Source: GamesIndustry.biz