E3, which was considered one of the world's three major game expos, is rapidly collapsing. Personally, it seemed precarious even before COVID-19, but I think COVID-19 hit the final blow. However, I don't think this is a crisis in the game expo itself.
E3 is an exhibition in a slightly different position among other offline game expos. In principle, it was impossible for the general public to enter E3, and only industry officials and reporters were allowed to enter. And E3 was the first place where big news was announced every year. So E3 had a different atmosphere from Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, G-Star, and ChinaJoy, which were held for the general public.
E3, which grew along with the game industry, began to struggle little by little from the late 2010s. Major companies like EA and Sony started not attending E3. Perhaps the E3 Organizing Committee felt threatened by such a move, and partially allowed the public to enter.
Then COVID-19 appeared. Due to COVID-19, E3 was not properly held from 2020 to 2022. An online event was held in 2021, but events were canceled in 2020 and 2022. E3 2023 tried to change with lead pop, but it was not enough. Major game companies announced one after another that they would not attend E3 2023, and E3 Organizing Committee canceled E3 2023.
Finding out what caused E3 to be like this isn't too difficult. It is caused by large game companies starting to run their own online events, disruptions to game developers' development schedules due to COVID-19, and reduced marketing budgets as some large companies are struggling. And while this was happening, the E3 organizers couldn't find a proper solution. Personally, I think that the demands and expectations of offline game fairs have changed, and this is the result of E3 failing to keep up with them.
Could E3 be successful again in the future? Personally, I think it will be difficult for E3 to rebound as long as it maintains the nature of the existing event. The reason why E3 attracted attention was that it was the first place where big news of the year was revealed. However, now is the era where each company can reveal bold news on its own through online. The infrastructure for online broadcasting is well established, and online is more efficient when looking at the cost involved. If there is a good highway, there is no reason to use regular roads.
So, how should E3 change in the future? It is simple. Fundamentally, from head to toe, I think it should change into a game fair for the general public. Of course, it is not easy for the E3 Organizing Committee to make such changes in a short period of time. There is no guarantee that this change will be successful. However, rather than sitting still and slowly disappearing as we are weeded out, wouldn't it be better to do something about it? It must have been part of this work that the E3 Organizing Committee collaborated with Leadpop in 2023.
Meanwhile, just because E3 2023 has been canceled, I don't think there is any need to worry about the offline game fair industry. Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, G-Star, and ChinaJoy are doing well in their own ways. In particular, G-Star 2022 was very successful.
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