If you hoped that 2022 would be the year in which E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) would return with an in-person convention in Los Angeles, well, you can now officially dash those hopes. The Entertainment Software Association, which is the entity behind the annualized gaming convention, announced today that it will be shifting to an online-only format in 2022. This is the second year in a row that E3 will now be held solely online with the culprit behind this decision once again being COVID-19.
In a message given to GamesBeat today, the ESA revealed that plans to hold E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center have been scrapped following the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. "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," said the statement from the ESA. "We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon."
As mentioned, this marks the second straight year in which E3 will again be held in a digital-only capacity. As a whole, though, it marks three years since E3 was held in-person whatsoever. In 2020, E3 ended up getting scrapped altogether after the COVID-19 pandemic first began in the early portion of the year.
So what will happen this year without E3 taking place in a physical form? Well, that remains to be seen. Last year's digital version of the show was much-maligned by many who chose to experience it, meaning that the ESA surely has a lot of work to do if it wants to improve on last year's offering. Conversely, host and producer Geoff Keighley has already confirmed that Summer Game Fest, which has become an annual event for new gaming announcements, will be coming back later this year. Despite E3's dissolving over the past few years, there will still be plenty of big pieces of gaming news this summer.
What do you think about E3 once again opting to go in an online-only direction? And do you think that the convention will ever end up returning in its previous form? Let me know all of your thoughts either down in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @MooreMan12.