Xbox boss Phil Spencer has made it clear that Xbox brands will not be abandoning E3, and will return in 2020 to the convention. Their goals are pretty clear, they want to liaise with the fans and see what people are truly excited about. With the upcoming launch of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft will have a lot of hype to wrangle,
This comes after Sony confirmed rumors that they would once again skip E3. The Japanese tech giant said they wish to “innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers.” Going further, back when Sony skipped E3 2019, the explanation appear to be much the same. “June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers. So retail has really dropped off,” explained Layden at the time. “And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it’s lost its impact around that. So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it.” Concluded Layden when talking about E3.
Phil Spencer had more to say about the importance of E3, and the plans Microsoft has in store. “Our team is hard at work on E3, we look forward to sharing with all who love to play what’s ahead for us,” said Spencer. “Our artform has consistently been propelled by the cross-section of creativity and technical progress. 2020 is a milestone year in that journey for Team Xbox.”
And it seems like game makers aren’t the only ones looking to innovate with how they announce games in 2020. The Entertainment Software Association will seek new avenues within E3 as they attempt to recapture the top spot for the convention. It won’t be easy though, as various defections to solo events, like those that Sony is doing with Experience PlayStation, have pulled gamers away. Matters certainly are not aided by the various controversies surrounding the ESA of late either.
The ESA will look to take advantage of more celebrity appearances and collaborations going forward, increasing the hype, and trying to “create buzz and FOMO.” Whether this works or just results in more cringe compilations remains to be seen. In a statement reacting to Sony’s announcement regarding E3 2020, the ESA says that “exhibitor interest in our new activations is gaining the attention of brands that view E3 as a key opportunity to connect with video game fans worldwide.”