E3 has been a staple of the games industry for decades, but its last few years have been tumultuous to say the least. As some major players like EA and Sony have begun jumping out of the event in favor of running their own E3-adjacent shows in the summertime, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has had to seek new ways to get people to tune in. Just as the show began to pivot to a more fan-oriented format and away from the press event it once was, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and disrupted the show more than ever. E3 2022 is now seemingly back on track, but with so many questions still to be answered, you might be wondering what the state of the event is. Here’s everything we know about E3 2022.
When is E3 2022?
The ESA has not yet revealed specific dates for E3 2022, and with the pandemic still affecting large in-person events such as this, it’s probably going to be a moving target for a while. Undoubtedly, we can look to the past for indication of when E3 mightbe, but that’s not the same as confirmation from the source. Typically, the ESA would reveal the next E3 on the final day of E3, but, understandably, that didn’t happen in 2021.
Should E3 2022 unfold live in Los Angeles (or even entirely online) on a similar schedule as past shows, we can tentatively anticipate the showing happening around the week of June 6, 2022. But the ESA is at the mercy of the pandemic just like the rest of us.
Will E3 2022 be in-person or online?
Like the date, this is a question that may very well change over the coming months. The last time anyone from the ESA spoke on this subject, it was said that E3 may be a hybrid event. Stanley Pierre-Louis, the CEO of the ESA, said in a June 2021 interview that future E3 events will “probably be a mix of physical and digital,” though nothing is decided yet and feedback from 2021’s show will inform the 2022 show.
“The shape of that is yet to be determined, and we hope to learn from this year’s event what transfers well,” he told GI.Biz last summer.
We may see E3 2022 become a hybrid event that unfolds both in-person and online.Which companies will be at E3?
The ESA and its participating companies will make their intentions known once the show is formally announced, but like the date, we can infer from recent history which companies may appear. Phil Spencer of Xbox has repeatedly stated Xbox’s commitment to E3, so the green team would seem to be a lock for the show. The same can be said for Bethesda, in that case, as it’s now an official limb of the growing Xbox machine.
Ubisoft has seemingly tied itself tightly to E3 as well, though if the company thinks its recent Ubisoft Forward shows have gone well, we could see the French developer-publisher side-stepping E3 in 2022.
That’s something EA did years ago with its EA Play event, which is not an official part of E3 and usually features a press conference in June or July.. The same can be said for PlayStation, which ditched E3 several years ago and has shown no interest in returning, though the hugely popular brand has always made time for some sort of summer show of its own, even if, like in 2021, that show came many weeks after E3.
Nintendo still considers its Treehouse Live shows as an official part of E3, but the team very likely won’t have a live presser from Los Angeles. Though the publisher does still take part in the showfloor for in-person attendees. It ditched press conferences for Nintendo Direct presentations years before the pandemic.
Square Enix has been unpredictable, sometimes electing to participate while other times choosing instead to sit out. In that case, it may just depend on whether the publisher has enough to talk about.
Smaller brands such as Devolver and iam8bit will likely also run E3-adjacent pressers of their own in some form, but again, it’s all in flux as the pandemic continues to disrupt day-to-day life of people all around the world.
In the months ahead, we’ll surely learn a lot more about E3 2022, for better or worse. It feels safe to say it will exist in some form or another, though given the state of the world, nothing is guaranteed from this far out.