Skip to main content

Video game trade show E3 has been permanently cancelled, organizers announce

The video game trade show, created in 1995, is no more as organizers look to new areas of focus

Image credit: ESA

E3 — also known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo — has come to an end after almost three decades, the Entertainment Software Association (the organizers of the event) has announced. The video game trade show, which once boasted almost 70,000 attendees and exhibitors including Square Enix, Nintendo, Bethesda, Sony, and other major video game companies, has been retired effective immediately.

The permanent shuttering of the convention was announced to the public via a post on X, formerly Twitter, which read simply “After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye. Thanks for the memories.”

More details behind the decision were given in a Washington Post story that featured an interview with ESA president Stanley Pierre-Louis. “There were fans who were invited to attend in the later years, but [E3] really was about a marketing and business model for the industry and being able to provide the world with information about new products,” Pierre-Louis stated, in explaining how the landscape surrounding the event has changed since its inception. “Companies now have access to consumers and to business relations through a variety of means, including their own individual showcases.”

In a statement released on social media, the ESA wrote that it “remains focused on advocating for ESA member companies and the industry workforce who fuel positive cultural and economic impact every day.”

News of the permanent closure of E3 follows the cancellation of the 2023 event — intended to be first in-person E3 since 2019, thanks to the pandemic — just months before it was intended to take place.

The 2023 event, which had been scheduled for June 13 through 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, was cancelled in late March. According to a statement from the Entertainment Software Association, it “simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry.”

That event was intended to be the first co-production between the Entertainment Software Association and Popverse parent company ReedPop; although both parties stated an intention to work together on future events, the partnership ended soon afterwards.

E3 had previously run annually from 1995 through 2019. An online version of the event took place in 2021.

Even without E3, there are many conventions to attend in 2024 and beyond; here's a helpful listing of upcoming major cons.

Featured events