E3 2020 cancellation saw ESA revenue drop 25%

E3 2020 cancellation saw ESA revenue drop 25%

US video games trade body the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) saw its revenue drop by a massive $10 million for the year ending March, 2021.

That's according to a tax filing the organisation submitted for the 12 months ending March 31st, 2021 – spotted by Axios – in which it reports a 25 per cent drop in its revenue year-on-year. That is likely due to the ESA having to cancel LA trade show E3 for 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

To give an indication of how much E3 normally generates for the trade body, filings show that in 2019 – the last time the event was held physically – it brought in $17 million.

The ESA has 30 corporate members, such as EA, Tencent, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft which it charges an annual fee. While these amounts aren't known, Axios notes that Activision Blizzard disclosed a contribution of around $680,000 to the ESA.

After returning as a digital event in 2021, E3 was cancelled once again for 2022. It was recently announced that events firm ReedPop would be running the show for 2023.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.