The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo will be an online-only affair once again this year. The event's organizers, the Electronic Software Association (ESA) confirmed the decision to return to a digital format following the recent surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the United States.
Should E3 go digital from here on out?
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is forcing regulating bodies from all over the world to go back and reinstitute lockdowns in an attempt to curb the spread. The United States, in particular, is suffering from hundreds of thousands of new infections every day, leaving hundreds of businesses and companies no choice but to reconsider their initial plans. Case in point, CES 2022, which was held in Las Vegas, saw several tech companies pull out due to safety concerns.
With the Omicron variant continuing to ravage most of the United States at the moment, the ESA's decision to shift to an all-digital format this early on is a good sign. This is unlike last year when it was confirmed less than three months before the event itself. The decision should give interested companies who plan to join the showcase enough time to make the necessary adjustments.
It's quite unfortunate that this is the case. The ESA already announced last year that E3 2022 would go back to being an in-person event. If it's any consolation, at least E3 2022 isn't canceled. Not to mention, E3 2021 was still a success despite the debut of the online format.
Now that companies have learned from E3 2021, fans can look forward to seeing a better showing from everyone involved at E3 2022.
What's more interesting here is the overall future of E3. The expo used to be the end-all and be-all of video game events. Now, this is no longer the case. Over the past two years, several independent publisher-run events have managed to give E3 a good run for its money. In addition, Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest will return in 2022. Because E3 will be losing its major source of revenue for the second year in a row, we're curious to see what kind of plans the ESA has for E3 going forward.