[Update – January 7 @ 10:10 AM ET]: The ESA delivered a follow-up statement to IGN, stating that an E3 2022 online event is still not confirmed at this time. Its original message does allude that the show will be online. However, we’ll have to wait and see what the ESA is planning.
The original story, published on January 6, is as follows.
The ongoing pandemic will have lasted for three years in 2022. Covid-19’s impact on the world has been monumental, effecting just about every industry — including games. And it’s certainly doesn’t feel like its losing steam, as a new Omicron variant has just entered the scene. With that in mind, the Electronic Software Association (ESA), has announced that E3 will remain an online-only event in 2022 — much like it was last year.
“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 GamesBeat. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
For a brief refresher, the last E3 to exist as an in-person event was in 2019. The pandemic hit its stride the following year, and the ESA canceled the show altogether. Companies such as Microsoft and Ubisoft brought its own shows, while the ESA stayed optimistic for 2021. It didn’t last. E3 2021’s live event was canceled, and the show went fully online. It was open and free for all, even though its organization was a bit of a trash fire. I’m hopeful that since we’re now past the growing pains, E3 2022 can provide a better online experience. Will we see the reemergence of the Mii3 avatars? If only we can be so lucky.
Maybe not the whole story
Not all are convinced of the ESA’s reasoning behind the show going online this year. Mike Futter, author and founder of F-Squared, claims that sources told a different tale. According to Futter, today’s announcement is a “spin,” and the ESA “had abandoned their dates for the LACC” as early as November — way before Omicron’s appearance.
But whatever the reason, E3 2022 is going to be fully online once more. Expect the ESA to provide more information on the show ahead of its usual June schedule.