Video Games

Rumors Swirl Around E3’s Future as Sega, Even More Publishers Back Out

Concerns about the future of E3 2023 continue to grow, leaving more publishers behind Nintendo, Xbox, Sony, and UbisoftIGN has learned that Sega and Tencent will skip E3 2023.

An IGN reporter has spoken to many people involved in publishing and PR. They are usually familiar with the strategy of the event and all of them have expressed concerns about the state of the event this summer. Many said they hadn’t heard that anyone else was definitely going to attend, and some said there was a significant lack of communication from ESA and organizer ReedPop about exactly what to expect from the show. Some described the situation as everyone was waiting for someone else to jump first, but no one was willing to jump and time ran out. There was

“There’s no chance this show will ever happen,” a knowledgeable source said, ahead of news of Ubisoft’s departure from the show on Monday.

Neither ESA nor ReedPop responded to IGN’s request for comment in time for publication.

panic!on the show floor

What struck me most about these conversations was the sheer confusion. Some recalled that in previous years when E3 was held, everything was well planned by this point in March, and some even announced this publicly early (Glance and Recent Past E3 News Announcements check this).

But that was not the case in 2023. Multiple people posed E3 questions to us throughout the conference before we even asked them. They seemed desperate for information that would help them make informed decisions about whether or not they should allocate a large budget to booths on the show floor. Can be staffed in as little as two months. Many wondered if he should skip the show itself, but he turned up in town to meet off-site with the media that week.

“There’s no way this show could come to fruition.”

In contrast to deep concerns about E3, there was a mix of positive sentiments about Geoff Keighley’s Play Days. This was an in-person, media-only event held over his two days in early June around the same time as his E3 last year, and reaffirmed it again this year. Several people we spoke with confirmed that games were locked for Play Days and said they expected more games to be present this year than last year.

That said, the event is still fairly small by E3 historically, and may not consist almost entirely of hands-on demos in contrast to its first run in 2022.

Even without the historical weight of E3, it’s no surprise that many publishers are hesitant to make big appearances at summer events of all kinds. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the production, announcement, and release cycle, removing the urgency to bring sophisticated game demos to hands-on experience at big summer events for several years in a row. rice field.

Budgets are also reportedly in limbo. Lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 have forced companies to slash funding for events while laying off event teams, with industry sources telling IGN that many publishers still have plans for pre-2020. Even if a company wanted to attend E3, Play Days, or LA in general, many weren’t prepared to pay all the costs involved. yeah. Stability like PAX and Gamescom.

This is probably because despite numerous publishers telling IGN that they worked with ReedPop to define exactly what they wanted from the 2023 rendition of E3, there are very few companies willing to play ball. Their initial participation and subsequent unwillingness led to a sense of betrayal within ReedPop. ESA’s mistakes of the past And the current fear of publishers.

Additionally, ReedPop is gearing up for further internal changes next month. According to an email to staff, Lansfensterman, who has served as president for the past 14 years, is preparing to step down and will be replaced by current vice president Michael, who has been a ReedPop veteran since 2004. is. [Disclosure: Both authors of this article are former ReedPop employees through its editorial arm, Gamer Network].

who is there? who’s out?

Prior to publication, IGN reached out to a number of major publishers to ask if they’d confirmed their participation at this year’s E3. Or planning for satellite events around E3, if applicable. Companies that missed the reveal include EA, Square Enix, Embracer Group, Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, Take-Two, and Warner Bros. Games. IGN understands that more publishers are planning to skip E3, but have yet to make an official announcement.

Of those who responded, Sega confirmed to IGN that they will not be ultimately participating in the show, saying in a statement: Information about future announced and unannounced projects.

Bandai Namco declined to provide updates on E3, but confirmed they will be attending Play Days.Tencent confirmed through a spokesperson that Level Infinite will not be attending E3 2023, They will be attending Play Days in 2022 and said, “We found it to be the ideal experience to introduce our games to the media.”

Although it had never officially attended E3 before, Devolver Digital, which has been running setup shots in the adjacent parking lot for several years, offered:

We’re always rooting for the success of industry gatherings that promote great games, but unfortunately we never officially attended E3 and don’t plan to attend again this year. We also confirm that we will not be hosting a satellite event in Los Angeles this year, but look forward to returning to our beloved parking lot to host any of his LACC-based events in the future if the opportunity arises. We’re happy to report that production on our annual Devolver Direct, scheduled for June, is well underway.

With only two months to go before E3 2023 in Los Angeles, the mood surrounding the show is far from normal. Businesses typically prepare to announce major showcases, and as business people, the media, and the public book their trips, there is widespread doubt about whether the show will take place. increase. If so, I fear that those responsible for attending may find themselves trapped in the show’s expensive shell as the rest of the industry goes on.

Additional reporting by Kat Bailey.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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