E3 somehow gets even deader as event organiser departs by 'mutual consent', ESA says no no it's still alive we promise

 A photo of attendees going into E3 2019.
A photo of attendees going into E3 2019.

Events company ReedPop, which has been partnering with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) for the past 14 months, will not be working on future E3 events. Reedpop has a good track record with live events, most recently organising PAX West in Seattle the past weekend, but didn't run a single E3 in that admittedly short timespan, with this year's event being cancelled due to a lack of involvement from the industry's big players.

Further to this, there will be no E3 in 2024. Well, no traditional E3. The ESA has told the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it's always held, that there will be no show next year, though it has stopped short of saying there will be no E3 at all. If there is, which I highly doubt, expect a very pared-back digital-only offering.

The ESA is apparently, per GamesIndustry.biz, planning a big re-launch and reinvention of E3 in 2025. I'll believe it when I see it. E3 feels like it's dead and, as someone who was lucky enough to attend over the years and always set aside time to watch the big showcases, that's a damn shame. Geoff Keighley's offerings and the various other shows that happen around the calendar are fine and all, but E3 was the big one, the showstopper, and it feels unlikely it will ever return or be replaced.

ReedPop had inked a multi-year deal with the ESA and 2023 was supposed to be the big E3 relaunch post-Covid. In the end, what Reedpop president Kyle Marsden-Kirsh called "resourcing challenges" and a lack of industry attendees saw the event cancelled, with big publishers increasingly unconvinced that splashing the cash on convention space and huge displays is worthwhile for them.

The two companies say the split is a "mutual decision". ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis thanked ReedPop and said "While the reach of E3 remains unmatched in our industry, we are continuing to explore how we can evolve it to best serve the video game industry and are evaluating every aspect of the event, from format to location. We are committed to our role as a convenor for the industry and look forward to sharing news about E3 in the coming months."