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Sony confirms it’s skipping E3 again this year

Sony has confirmed it will not be attending E3 for the second successive year, stating “the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year”.

“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020,” said a Sony Interactive Entertainment spokesperson told GI.biz. “We have great respect for the ESA as an organisation, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.

“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 favourite 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.”

An ESA spokesperson responded saying: “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. 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.”

E3 2019 has already been dated and will take place from June 9th to June 11th 2020, once again at the Los Angeles Convention Center and competitor Microsoft has confirmed it will be in attendance. 

E3 2018 drew its biggest attendance in a decade after opening its doors to consumers, but while 200+ exhibitors showed off their latest games at E3 2019 – a figure broadly in line with previous years – the expo attracted 3,000 fewer visitors than it did last year, dropping to a little over 66,000 attendees. 

The Entertainment Software Association has since revealed plans to change E3’s format by rebranding as a “fan, media, and influencer festival” that will invite an additional 10,000 visitors to the show. 

In a pitch reportedly written for the organisation’s members the ESA says it is responding to attendee feedback with plans to include more influencers in activities, as well as revisions to its usual show floor plan for new “on-floor” experiences. It was also agreed that given the increase in consumer passes, the show should have an “industry-only day”, much like the first day of competing trade show, Gamescom. And while it also proposed a new app to help visitors mitigate queue times similar to Disney’s FastPass system, the organisation also said it would take advantage of queuing visitors with “queuetainment” marketing opportunities for exhibitors. 

Last year, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) unintentionally published the names, home addresses and phone numbers of more than 2,000 journalists who attended E3 2019. These details, which have now been removed, appeared in a spreadsheet that was hosted on E3’s website – anyone with the link could access it and download it. It wasn’t only journalists whose details were leaked, either, but also “YouTube creators, Wall Street financial analysts at firms like Wedbush and Goldman Sachs, and Tencent employees”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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