For the first time in 24 years, Sony decided to skip the biggest gaming expo, E3, in 2019. Well, it seems like they are doing it again. Sony announced on Monday that they will not be returning to the conference for the second straight year, which is interesting since they do have a new console coming out later this year. E3 was usually the event you showcase all your new hardware and titles.
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020. We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year,” a Sony Interactive spokesperson tells The Verge. “We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”
However, Sony’s decision to move from one big showcase to a global showcase seems to show confidence in the brand that they don’t need E3. They aren’t the first to do so. Nintendo hasn’t been at the event in years, they resorted to video direct announcement. Hell, even Microsoft announced their new Xbox Series X console at the Game Awards in December.
While many believed that game developers needed E3 to get their brands recognized, it seems that E3 is going to hurt by the absence. After last year’s E3, Sony’s presence was felt and the event was really lackluster. With the big names in gaming leaving to hold their events elsewhere, it seems that E3 is losing its luster in the way the San Diego Comic-Con has.
However, you wouldn’t have guessed it by the press release following Sony’s announcement.
In a statement, the Electronic Software Association, the video game trade group that hosts E3, says it it is confident this year’s show will be an “exciting, high-energy” one.
“E3 is a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world,” the ESA writes. “E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike. 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.”