The summer of no E3 seems to be treating publishers and developers just fine in terms of buzz


This is the year of no E3, the year with no big summer convention in which everyone packs together in a building to see the latest games that can be anticipated for the years to come. Of course, somebody has already speculated that we don’t really need trade shows any longer, but this year is the perfect opportunity to test that theory out. And it turns out that according to Superdata… the lack of E3 is really working out just fine for AAA publishers this year, with the embrace of streams and other press releases more or less bridging the attention gap just fine.

Analyst group Fancensus has a lengthy piece on penned by head of analytics Ryan Janes further breaking down the impact, noting that smaller ventures like the Indie Showcase from the Escapist have allowed for developers and publishers to show off titles with comparable levels of engagement. So it seems that when a year gave us a reason to see what life is like without an E3, the answer was… well, at least from the developer side of things, just fine. Probably not the takeaway anyone organizing for another event was hoping to hear.


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Jon Wax

E3 is like sxsw

Was once good, now not


Another nice side effect of no E3 is that developers no longer are crunching and cutting corners to hit that date. Instead they are able to release info on their schedule and timeframe. I also imagine it saves a ton of time and money not having to build booths, prep and rehearse demos and presentations, etc. Instead all those resources can go into the games they are developing.

Wonder how many studios are looking at their bottom line this year and thinking “we should have cut E3 years ago”?


It certainly doesn’t seem to have hurt games from the perspective of marketing to their audiences. But I do remember seeing (a few months back, which feels like an eternity in this endless 2020) a few devs lament the loss of the face-to-face networking opportunities that trade shows provided.

Andy Turner
Andy Turner

I had a fellow game developer hit me up this morning. Horrific developer. That’s just his name. Wanting to develop. Lots of hungry devs out here. I am going to try to make a decent mobile emulator for the unity version of fantasy grounds.

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Schlag Sweetleaf



Honestly, the greatest thing about all of this is removing ‘AAA’ games from the equation. They’ve never needed an expo or public space–most all of them are just preaching to the choir who knew about them already. Aside from the occasional massive surprises like FF7 Remake or Shenmue 3–those that seemed so far-fetched and talk about that they were more legends than possibilities?

Yeah, we knew there would be another Halo. We knew there would be another Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty.

Dumping E3–and with it all of the real estate the AAA scene’s bloated butt takes up–gave indie developers room, which has always been an issue. They’d either need to tie themselves to a major publisher or settle for some spot beneath a stairwell or even outside of the floor, and hope to god people actually notice them. But now? We’ve had several showcases that were aimed towards the smaller games. Multiple chances for them to get air time without Call of Duty blocking them with an oversized dorito bag and inflatable monster energy drink can.

Besides… The only one I really care about seeing is Devolver Digital’s annual spoof. And we got that. That’s about the only thing I really look forward to during E3. Everything else is varying levels of ‘neat’.

Dug From The Earth

Yeah… because everyone is having their “showcase” virtually. Showing off trailers, gameplay, tech, etc all via streams and video.

The industry doesnt need conventions.. specifically E3… but it does need transparency and the willingness to show off stuff to the public.

If studious were this open and revealing every year, id be perfectly happy with there never being a gaming convention again.


Goodbye E3, you will not be missed.

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I’m still firmly on the “Screw E3, the ESA is a disaster.” train, and I’m glad to see that this shitshow of a summer hasn’t negatively impacted announcements and what not…

But can we never, ever do this again? Maybe it’s from my PoV, but the lack of a singular show/week to centralize things has really made the whole summer a slog, and I know I’ve largely tuned out of most of these showcases and whatnot due to a mixture of them being impossible to keep track of without a bloody calendar and many of them being pretty…meh.

But I sure hope this is causing the ESA to take a long, hard look at E3 and how it’s set up. Because their last round of plans to “dramatically change” the show were not well received, and their failure to turn around a digital event was a stark reminder of how unprepared they were/are. They already had uphill battles to climb after leaking the registration information of media and show-floor staff, and this isn’t going to make it any easier.


I actually prefer it like this; with the news and announcements more spread out, the chance of some announcement I care about being buried in a sea of news and announcements I couldn’t care less for is substantially lower.

But then, I never cared for big trade shows like E3 and consider the typical attempts at building hype — as often done in the lead up to an important trade show — to be somewhere between boring and frustrating.