With E3 2022 officially canceled, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest is set to be the biggest gaming event this June

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2022 is canceled and Summer Game Fest 2022 is shaping to be the big event of this summer (Images by ESA and SGF)
Electronic Entertainment Expo 2022 is canceled and Summer Game Fest 2022 is shaping to be the big event of this summer (Images by ESA and SGF)

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is a yearly gaming event where all developers and publishers come together to showcase new and upcoming games. After being canceled in 2020, and presenting quite a disappointing digital showcase in 2021, the 2022 iteration of the event has officially been canceled.

E3 started back in 1995. Organized by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the event usually takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. From AAA publishers to indie developers, many showcase their upcoming titles on the world’s biggest stage.

While the cancelation of the event is certainly unfortunate, it was quite unsurprising based on the ongoing industry trends.

Why the cancelation of E3 2022 was not a surprise

When E3 started back in 1995, the gaming industry was quite a niche market; Nintendo and Sega were considered the market leaders and the first PlayStation was just a few months old. The inaugural event consisted of only Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, and while the organizers were unsure how many people would turn up, over 50,000 people attended the event, cementing it as the biggest gaming event.

However, a lot has changed over the last 15 years. The world has become more connected, leading gaming companies towards a more global audience. The gaming events are not only streamed online, but millions of people tuned in to watch and enjoy them.

With the change in industry trends, the audience has grown substantially. Game developers and publishers are hosting more events online. From Ubisoft Forward to EA Play Live to PlayStation State of Play and Nintendo Direct, major AAA publishers are opting to host their own shows. Furthermore, E3 isn’t the only major gaming show, as events like Summer Game Fest, The Game Awards, and Game Developers Conference have sprung up.

All of this was further accelerated by the pandemic, which became a global issue in early 2020. This led to a worldwide lockdown and the rampant cancelation of events, including the Electronic Entertainment Expo, leaving a large vacuum for gaming events in the summer and paving the way for the creation of Summer Game Fest.

While E3 did return in 2021 in a digital-only format, it was quite underwhelming. By then, most developers had chosen to host their own shows or be a part of Summer Game Fest 2021. The few that did weren’t given the proper stage as E3 failed to properly transition into digital media.

The 2022 iteration was originally being planned as a digital event; however, based on the previous year’s turn of events, expectations were quite low. Furthermore, the majority of AAA developers are expected to host their own shows, with the rest of the big names joining Summer Game Fest 2022.

While it was being speculated for quite a while, the ESA officially canceled E3 2022 yesterday with an email to partners. With the cancelation of the event, Summer Game Fest is set to be the main event of the summer.

How Summer Game Fest is shaping up to be the flagship gaming event of the year

When E3 was first canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, it left a vacuum in the gaming industry as many developers had trailers and new titles ready to show off in the summer. This led to Geoff Keighley, one of the most notable personalities in the gaming industry, organizing Summer Game Fest, a completely digital gaming event.

Summer Game Fest brought the excitement of a gaming expo to life in the digital medium and fans were excited to see it. The event returned again in 2021, and although it had an invite-only in-person attendance, it remained a mostly digital event.

Summer Game Fest was already confirmed to return in 2022 and moments after the news of the E3 2022 cancelation broke, the website went live with a date of June 2022. It is quite clear that Summer Game Fest 2022 is shaping up to be the big gaming event of the year.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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