According to Will Powers, the Public Relations lead for Razer PR, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has sent an official email stating that E3 2022 has been canceled in its entirety. This includes both the in-person event as well as plans for a digital event for what has been the premiere summer event for the video game industry.
Why it seemed inevitable that E3 2022 was canceled
The surprise email has made Power have “mixed feelings” about the confirmation for the cancellation of E3 2022, according to his tweet (posted below). And when prompted by a user whether it has indeed been thoroughly canceled, he replied “Official ESA E3 is officially cancelled cancelled,” to be absolutely clear on the matter.
Just got an email… It's official, E3 digital is official cancelled for 2022. Lots of mixed feelings about this…
— Will Powers 🔜 TwitchCon (@WillJPowers) March 31, 2022
Since then, the email has been verified by IGN, so the report is genuine.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no E3 event in 2020 and only a digital version of the event was planned for 2021. With the pandemic restrictions lifting and people feeling more comfortable to be at public conventions, the in-person event for E3 2022 was scheduled.
However, those plans were scrapped earlier this year, with the digital event pending. The ESA previously made a statement that due to the “ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022.” Now that it’s clear that a digital event has also been nixed, this does not bode well for the continuation of the event, although the ESA still wishes to make more assertive plans for E3 2023. According to a tweet from Stephen Totilo at Axios, E3 2023 is being planned for both in-person and digital events.
That said, major publishers like EA have not been keen on having an E3 event this year, as EA had already canceled its EA Play Live event for 2022. For the past five years or so, other first-party publishers like Sony and Nintendo have switched gears and seem much more comfortable with smaller digital presentations like PlayStation’s State of Play and Nintendo Directs.