Pop Culture

Why Was E3 2022 Cancelled?

As recently as Tuesday, I’ve been on the record on this website several times saying that I believed we’ll get the sequel to Breath of the Wild‘s true subtitle at E3 this year. Of course, when you opine anything on the internet, you put yourself into the position of looking like a fool. And today, I look like a fool. Because not only will we not be getting Breath of the Wild 2‘s subtitle – we won’t be getting an E3 at all.

As reported and confirmed by IGN, E3 2022 has officially canceled its digital event, which was set to be held in June. This news is the end of a long, rocky road E3 has endured for its 2022 edition. The infamous gaming conference was originally planning to return to its physical format, after canceling in 2020 and presenting an online conference in 2021. However, the ESA—the Entertainment Software Association, which runs E3 – announced in January that the conference would not be held in person. This decision was made “due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19.” January would’ve still been in the heart of the OG Omicron wave, after all.

According to IGN’s sources, the ESA appeared to waffle after this announcement. The sources said “discussions about a possible digital equivalent have been ongoing ever since, but without strong momentum to drive them.” And so, after months of keeping third parties in a guessing game as to what would happen, the ESA canceled the conference altogether. “We will devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer,” they said in a statement to IGN.

To me, this ordeal exemplifies 2022 in a nutshell. “Hey, we can do things now, COVID’s over! Oh sh*t, no it’s not! We should probably cancel the in-person thing! How worried should I be? Are other people worried? I’m the organizer, so I should be ultra-responsible, even if everyone’s acting like everything’s normal. Right? Right?! Okay, I canceled it. Crap. Do we organize an online thing instead? Wait, this is now a completely different event. Oh sh*t. Oh sh*it. I’m so exhausted. Let’s just try for next year.” Then you cancel everything, curl into a fetal position, and are awash with existential dread until you rally yourself to play Elden Ring for six hours. You know, 2022.

Anyway, it’s likely that the major companies will probably find ways to do their own online presentations in lieu of an official E3 showcase. In other words, we’ll probably still get a Nintendo Direct around June. But I won’t guarantee anything.

(Image credit: E3)

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