E3 2022 Officially Canceled: Everything You Need To Know

Following speculation about its plans, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed that it will not hold an online event this year, effectively canceling E3 2022. The news joins the ESA's January announcement when it revealed there won't be an in-person E3 event this summer. Though that initial revelation seemingly indicated the event would go digital (again), the vague nature of the organization's statements at the time left the door open for complete cancellation.

The news first surfaced in a tweet published by Razer's Will Powers, who said the official cancellation was sent out in the form of an email. That tweet triggered a deeper investigation among those caught off guard by the news, leading quickly to confirmation from IGN and then, right around the same time, an official statement published by the ESA. It doesn't look like this is the end of E3 overall, mind, as the association indicates it may offer a particularly exciting event next year to make up for the pandemic-related disruption.

E3 will return in 2023 with live and digital events

The pandemic is ultimately the reason for the ESA's decision, as it originally said it won't hold an in-person event this year due to the continued risk posed by the virus — something many events have had to reckon with. The same reason was given for canceling E3 2021, though last year did bring a digital event in its place. In contrast, E3 2020 was completely canceled, as it had been scheduled for the early days of the pandemic and conducting a digital event on such short notice wasn't feasible.

The ESA didn't provide a reason for its decision to skip an online event this year, instead focusing most of its statement on its plans for next summer. The organization says it will redirect its resources toward E3 2023, which it plans to offer in both physical and digital mediums in Los Angeles. Few details on that were provided, with the ESA simply saying in a statement that E3 2023 will feature interactive showcases and an unspecified new format.

Despite the lack of official clarity, IGN claims that potential partners were frustrated over the ESA's silence on whether a digital event would be held this summer, something the sources allege snowballed into the cancellation due ultimately to a lack of energy directed at making such an event happen. This may be good news for E3 fans, however, as a digital event can't really compare with the hands-on experience, and it sounds like next year will mark a particularly notable return to normalcy.