In a shocking announcement today, game publisher Electronic Arts has revealed that it will not be holding a keynote conference at this year’s E3. This can be seen as a huge blow to the spectacle associated with the year’s biggest gaming event, and follows the footsteps of other gaming giants. Sony has already announced last year that it will not have a presence at E3, while for years now Nintendo has opted to show a pre-recorded Direct as opposed to having a live presentation.
In the update post, EA states that it will still hold the annual EA Play experience, offering free entry and hands-on time with some of its biggest titles, along with exclusive content from “some of the most popular creators in the world.” In place of a conference, EA will be launching multiple live streams that will cover “more gameplay and insights from the teams making the games.” These live streams will occur in the original time slot for the conference, now dubbed the “EA PLAY kickoff event”, on Friday, June 7, 2019.
In order to accommodate for a better public schedule, EA has moved its EA PLAY fanfest to the weekend – Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2019. There, players can get the promised hands-on time while watching content creators stream directly from EA’s humorously named “Creator’s Cave” located in the Hollywood Palladium. On the digital front, EA will be offering “exclusive gameplay reveals, developer talks and breaking news” on their website, the home hub for all its online content.
With EA withdrawing from a traditional conference behind Sony and Nintendo, this year’s E3 is shaping up to be a weaker one compared to recent years. While Microsoft is still dedicated to the event, possibly announcing next-gen consoles for its conference, the lack of the hype-inducing, stylish festivities associated with keynote conferences from three of the biggest publishers may prove to dampen the anticipation surrounding the gaming extravaganza. Only time will tell whether more companies follow suit, or if E3 can make up for the gapes left behind with newer, more innovative events.