The ESA may be headed back to the virtual space
[Update: In a follow-up statement to IGN, the ESA said that it could not confirm whether or not it would be hosting a digital event this year. Other sources told IGN that the ESA had foregone hosting a physical show, possibly as early as fall of 2021. Our original story follows.]
[Update 2: On March 31, the ESA confirmed that E3 2022 has been canceled.]
This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo sounds like it’s returning to the online-only realm. In a statement to VentureBeat, the Entertainment Software Association confirmed that E3 will not be held in person in 2022.
“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,” the ESA told VentureBeat. “We are nonetheless excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
E3 2021 was online-only as well due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 show was canceled for similar reasons. So with this, it looks like E3 will host another digital event, though what that will look like this year remains to be seen.
The outlook for physical events returning seemed optimistic headed into this year, with vaccines and boosters being made more available. It seems like the recent surge of the Omicron variant has put a pause on any of those plans, though.
The theoretical window for E3 2022 is still months away, but given the statement above, the ESA seems to be taking the safe route.
As for other shows, PAX East 2022 is set to be held in Boston from April 21 through 24. PAX will also be requiring all attendees, including exhibitors and staff, to be fully vaccinated. And on the online front, Geoff Keighley also just tweeted out that Summer Game Fest will be returning this summer.
Physical events or not, it seems like the summer of gaming news and reveals is set for another digital year.