The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is attempting a comeback in 2023 after canceling 2022's show entirely. The new organizers of the event, ReedPop, announced this morning that registration for industry professionals is now open while also unveiling some of their Digital Showcase plans for the upcoming hybrid event.
E3 2023 is aiming to be both a tentpole digital and in-person event on the gaming calendar, though questions have circulated around the event since it was announced to be returning this year. Despite this, E3 organizer ReedPop has announced the digital days, as well as its show floor schedule as the organizer aims to provide an "improved show experience for all attendees," according to this morning's press release.
First the digital side of things. E3 2023's Digital Week will kick off on Sunday, June 11th with the various press briefings and more viewers have grown accustomed to seeing in June. Officially part of E3 seems to be the Future Games Show, the PC Gaming Show, as well as Black Voices in Gaming showcase. We also know Microsoft and Bethesda will be holding their own event on June 11th, though as usual, the tech giant's press briefing isn't "officially" part of E3. ReedPop states that they will be announcing the full schedule of these conferences, as well as independent ones, "in the coming weeks."
As far as the physical event itself, E3 has long been an industry-focused trade show. However, in its last few years before the pandemic ground things to a halt in the Before Times, E3 had started to sell public passes to give gamers the chance to attend the show. This trend is continuing, though E3 is taking cues from its European counterpart, Gamescom, by hosting both Industry-only days and then days the show is open to the public, separating the working days for industry fom fan days.
Industry-only days will be June 13th-15th, giving publishers, devs, media, and more the chance to work, meet and more during the show without the excess crowds the public will bring to bear. Gamer Days will be on Thursday, June 15th, and Friday, June 16th.
Concerningly, we still don't really know how many big name publishers will actually be at the expo this year, though we do know that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will not have a booth presence at the trade show. Ubisoft confused many out there by stating that "if" E3 happened, they'd be there (only for them to confirm that they will be later on), but other than that we're not quite sure just how many triple-A publishers will attend. E3 was already facing a relevance question leading into the Pandemic, especially with so many publishers and studios going direct to fans with news and announcements year round with Twitch streams, self-contained showcases and more.
ReedPop states that a full exhibitor list will be made available leading up to the show, but until then it's a major unknown just how relevant the show will be in 2023.