Geoff Keighley Los Angeles Digital Microsoft COST Twitter Sony Assurant Nintendo Geoff Keighley Los Angeles

What went wrong with E3? And can it come back?

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As news spread of E3 2023’s cancellation on Thursday, Games Twitter went straight into obituary mode. Developers, journalists, industry types, and fans shared their memories of the show; among them was erstwhile E3 presenter Geoff Keighley, who segued from a nostalgic show-floor photo to crowing promotion for his rival Summer Game Fest event in the space of a single tweet.

Despite assurances from organizers the Entertainment Software Association and events company ReedPop that they would “continue to work together on future E3 events,” the general assumption seems to be that there was no coming back from this. “RIP E3” is trending.

E3 seems dead for good. The telling detail is that so many reminiscences of great E3 moments hinge on events that weren’t, technically, part of the show at all.

For every story of a connection made on the vast, noisy show floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center (like this one, from former Polygon editor Arthur Gies), there were 10 more about the grandstanding showmanship and hilarious fails of the publisher press conferences that gathered alongside it: Sony owning Microsoft over its games ownership debacle, or Shigeru Miyamoto appearing with sword and shield to announce The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

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