Video games trade show E3 permanently cancelled by organisers

The annual convention was once the key date in the calendar for news from the world of gaming, but has struggled to recover since the pandemic.

Video games trade show the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, and the biggest date in the gaming calendar, has been permanently cancelled.

On Tuesday, the convention’s website carried a simple statement confirming the event would not continue.

“After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye.

“Thanks for the memories,” the statement read, before signing off with the acronym “GGWP”, which means “good game, well played” and is a friendly sign-off in online gaming.

The trade show had run since 1995 in Los Angeles, and at its height was the biggest event of its kind in the world, where the biggest brands in the industry: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, would come each year to unveil their new games and consoles.

It was attended by tens of thousands of people from across the gaming industry as well as gamers, who would often queue for hours to get a short preview of upcoming games.

However, the show had been in decline in recent years as more companies opted to skip the show in favour of hosting their own standalone events to announce their new games, away from the crowded field of the convention.

The coronavirus pandemic also had a significant impact on the event.

It was cancelled completely in 2020, went online-only in 2021 before another total cancellation followed in 2022.

The event’s organisers, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) had previously said it hoped to return to a fully in-person E3 this year but ultimately scrapped it, increasing speculation about its future.

In a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, the ESA said: “After more than two decades of serving as a central showcase for the video game industry, ESA has decided to end E3.

“ESA remains focused on advocating for ESA member companies and the industry workforce who fuel positive cultural and economic impact every day.”

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