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The demise of E3 is a negative for the gaming industry.

TechnologyThe demise of E3 is a negative for the gaming industry.

The video game industry has depended on E3 for over two decades. The Entertainment Software Association said that it was officially retiring the event for good. It is the end of an era for the industry. The press that hated crunching through a week of fast-paced meetings scattered across a crowded show floor may be happy. Recommended videos.

It was the right time for E3 to go, but it is okay to be sad about it. The news of E3's end is no surprise to anyone who has been following the event over the past few years. It is difficult to say when that started, but a few key events led to its demise. The birth of digital Nintendo Directs would be a devastating blow to the show, as publishers slowly gained the confidence to broadcast announcements on their own terms, instead of putting on spectacular press conferences. The move would eventually snowball into companies abandoning the show, a loss the company would never recover from. It lost the support of the press when it accidentally leaked a spreadsheet of personal data of over 2,000 journalists. The straw that broke the camel's back was the news that multiple worst-case scenarios took place at the same time. The design team iam8bit announced they were no longer working on the show in March 2020. There was a lot of things going on, and one of them was the departure of a key part of previous years. The show would have to be shut down due to locks, and Keighley didn't have enough time to figure out a digital alternative. Summer Game Fest was created in 2020 and will allow publishers to show their games on live streams instead of paying booth prices. The show was hosted on a half-baked web portal that was useless as the result of the disastrous attempt to compete with a reinvented digital E3. The writing was on the wall when the show canceled its event in 2022, while Keighley expanded his show with a live press event that got games like Street Fighter 6 and Sonic Frontiers on a smaller show floor. The show was shut down on Tuesday, December 12th, just days after the Keighley's Game Awards, an event that has the importance and gusto of an E3 press conference. It was a logical conclusion, considering the years of struggles.

It is easy to send E3 off with a good riddance as the show had shown an inability to evolve to a changing digital landscape. The demise was not solely due to the high cost of entry but also due to the lack of willingness to meet game makers halfway. It was an event for my friends at home where we used to gather around the computers every day and refresh websites like IGN. Jamie kicked a soccer ball inside his house and obliterated a lamp when he got the game, and it snowballed into an interest in games journalism for me. I owe my career to E3 and I am sure many other people are as well. The in-person side of the show was important for developers and made it a key business and marketing event. It was a way for independent developers to get in touch with major publishers. There is a void that is imperative to fill for the health of the industry, as Keighley hosts a more private event attended by select publishers and press. E3 organized a lot of news into a few days, which made it easy for people to get all the information they needed at once. It was a good way to digest the industry and bring players together. The past few years have seen a lot of live streams from publishers. It is much harder to be a casual fan who likes games if you do not follow game announcements. It was a pressure valve that made fans wait for June as they always knew it was around the corner. In recent years, people have become more demanding, begging to see games like Grand Theft Auto 6 or Hollow Knight Silksong at every live stream. I hope the spirit of E3 is still there, even though it is dead. The Game Awards mix of awards gala and E3 showcase doesn't work at the moment, and Summer Game Fest isn't at that scale yet. I hope that E3 can unite a fractured industry and inspire people to chase their dreams just as it did for me nearly two decades ago.

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