In a nutshell: While the world moves in the right direction when it comes to fighting Covid, an in-person E3 this year always felt like wishful thinking. Now, LA City documents appear to confirm that the physical event has been canceled.
Resetera user Rösti discovered a special meeting schedule for the Board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development on the city’s official website. It lists E3 2021 as a “canceled live event in 2021.”
The document also notes that the board is working with the ESA production team on broadcast options at the LA Convention Center, as well as a license for 2022 and 2023 events.
The news isn’t too surprising. We heard reports earlier this month that E3 was set to be an online-only event. The ESA said it was “transforming the E3 experience for 2021,” though not all game companies seem onboard with the idea of an online format.
In the same month that E3 takes place, another massive conference, Mobile World Congress, will return as an in-person event. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend MWC Barcelona, half the normal 100,000 visitors, and there will be several Covid security measures in place. But there are fears it could cause a surge in cases like CES 2020 led to an infection spike in Las Vegas.
E3’s crown was already slipping before the pandemic, with big names including Sony and EA skipping the convention and holding their own conferences instead. It leaves a question over whether we’ll ever see the electronic entertainment expo return to its former glories.