This week was meant to be the biggest week of the gaming calendar in 2020. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the gaming industry was preparing for E3 2020 in Los Angeles. All to celebrate a very important year for video games ahead of the upcoming console generation.
Things have obviously changed now. The world has changed.
Although publishers and developers have announced online events and live-streams to fill the gap, with the lack of a cohesive event where a whole slew of games are announced, demoed and shown off, it doesn’t feel quite so special.
E3 has been on the decline for a while in the opinion of many in the industry. And despite the ESA’s inability to truly revolutionize the event for the modern era, and massive privacy issues like leaked personal information casting a dark cloud over the organizers, the week of E3 has always been important to so many gamers.
Press conferences from the big publishers are exciting (though sometimes disappointing). The myriad of walkthroughs, interviews, deep-dives and demos explored through coverage from Geoff Keighley in the Coliseum, Nintendo’s Treehouse, IGN and so many others in the industry give players so much to look forward to. We get incredible moments like Keanu on Microsoft’s stage, the God of War reveal, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and much more. Not to mention hilariously awkward live moments that live on in GIFs, memes, and YouTube clips.
But this year, it’s all different.
Will E3 ever resurface from this change in the industry; where companies can dictate their announcement schedules and save millions of dollars? With companies like PlayStation opting out of E3 entirely, and Nintendo choosing not to host a live conference in the years gone by, what does the future actually hold for E3? Right now, no one probably knows. But I for one will miss it.
Living in Australia, I love waking up at ridiculous hours to watch a press conference and then talking about it at work that day with tired eyes and way too much coffee. I love the ridiculous amount of content to consume from my favorite creators, podcasts, and outlets.
I love the camaraderie that brings so many people together for this week in June to show our passion for so many games; from one-man development projects, to the next AAA blockbuster.
I love the hype, even though it fails to coalesce on many occasions. But E3 has been so special in the way it is broadcast and consumed for me and I know many others feel the same way. But I’m also torn, because I can understand why some people want the marketing machine that is E3 to go away to make way for “better” events like PAX or Gamescom.
It’s weird to think that 2019 E3 may have been the last ever. To be honest, I will miss the early mornings, the bucket list item to one day attend, the seemingly endless hours of content to consume, and the way it brings everyone who loves video games together.
In this strange new world we live in, I truly hope something can rise from its ashes. Hopefully whatever takes its place can continue to foster our love for video games in a way that E3 has managed to do for so many years.