ESA officially kills E3

ESA officially kills E3

US video games trade association The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is officially abandoning the long-running E3 event.

In a post on Twitterand an interview with the Washington Post – the organisation said that after two decades, the show would be coming to a close.

"We know the entire industry, players and creators alike, have a lot of passion for E3. We share that passion," ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis (pictured) 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."

E3 has been floundering somewhat for almost a decade. After Nintendo showed that big publishers could simply hold their own massive press conferences online without any real-life components, other companies followed suit. That was alongside companies like Microsoft and EA holding their own press conferences close to E3's Los Angeles Convention Center without actually being at the event itself.

The ESA attempted to modernise E3 by allowing consumers to attend – officially! – for the first time in 2017 but by that point it was too little too late. The trade body's inability to hold E3 in any virtual sense during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, unlike similar events like Gamescom, only helped cement the show's demise.

“There were fans who were invited to attend in the later years, but it really was about a marketing and business model for the industry and being able to provide the world with information about new products,” Pierre-Louis said.

“Companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.”

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.