Next-Gen has the scoop: Doug Lowenstein, the president of the Entertainment Software Association is expected to announce within the next 48 hours that E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the definitive video games show, has been cancelled. Industry sources have told Next-Gen that the reasoning behind this move is primarily one of cost versus return. Publishers aren’t getting the media attention that they expect from the large amounts of cash that they’re putting down to exhibit at the show.
Apparently publishers believe that the multi-million dollar budgets allocated to E3 would be better used on smaller, specific shows where publishers get all the limelight. There’s the possibility of a smaller show taking place in May next year, but as Next-Gen puts it, “it’s clear that the days of an industry event attended by all the major publishers, spending big money, are gone.”
More on this bombshell at Joystiq, but their conclusion is that “Next year’s E3 will be a shadow of a memory of previous E3s. If the ESA doesn’t manage to get the big guys back on board, another organizer will step in within the next 18 months with a show that will take E3’s crown as the king of gaming trade shows,” and that “In the short term, [the Game Developers Conference] is going to get big, very big. As the next biggest American gaming show after E3, expect a lot of next year’s big gaming news to come out of San Fransisco.”
UPDATE: Contrary to Next Gen‘s original report of E3 being cancelled outright, and as Joystiq mentions, there will apparently be one next year (May 16th-18th, 2007), but indications point to it being nowhere near a behemoth as it has been in previous years (especially this year). Not having a gaming convention where The Big Three (Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft) face-off? Inconceiveable!