'End of an era': Video game fans react to decision to scrap E3 trade show

Crowds gather at the Nintendo booth of the 2018 E3 video game conference in Los Angeles.
The E3 trade show had been running annually since 1995. Credit: AP

Video game fans have expressed their disappointment at the announcement that the E3 gaming trade show has been permanently cancelled.

The decision to end the show, which was also known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, has been hailed as the "end of an era".

On Tuesday, the convention's website carried a simple statement confirming the event would not continue.

"After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye.

"Thanks for the memories," the statement read, before signing off with the acronym "GGWP" - which means "good game, well played" and is a friendly sign-off in online gaming.

People watch a PlayStation VR demo at the 2018 E3 trade show. Credit: AP

Fans of E3 took to social media to share their memories of the trade show, with one writing on X, formerly known as Twitter: "E3 you were great to all the gamers out there.

"To all those that didn't get to experience it, I hope something else can come close to replicating it."

Another wrote: "Truly an end of an era, thank you E3."

The trade show had run since 1995 in Los Angeles, and at its height was the biggest event of its kind in the world, where the biggest brands in the industry: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, would come each year to unveil their new games and consoles.

Tens of thousands of people from across the gaming industry attended the event, often queuing for hours to get a short preview of upcoming games.

A woman plays a video game from The Legend of Zelda series at the 2016 edition of E3. Credit: AP

However, the show had been in decline in recent years as more companies opted to skip the show in favour of hosting their own standalone events to announce their new games, away from the crowded field of the convention.

The coronavirus pandemic also had a significant impact on the event.

In 2020, the show was cancelled completely and went online-only a year later, before another total cancellation followed in 2022.

The event's organisers, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), had previously said it hoped to return to a fully in-person E3 this year, but ultimately scrapped it, increasing speculation about its future.

In a statement posted to X, the ESA said: "After more than two decades of serving as a central showcase for the video game industry, ESA has decided to end E3.

"ESA remains focused on advocating for ESA member companies and the industry workforce who fuel positive cultural and economic impact every day."

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