The 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles is losing even more major publishers from the show floor of the LA Convention Center. Activision, Disney Interactive and Wargaming confirmed this week they won't have their own exhibits at the show, which runs from June 14-16.
Those companies are joining Electronic Arts who said in January it was going to hold an off-site press conference and exhibit in LA during E3 at the nearby Club Nokia venue at LA Live.
Buried in a blog post about their plans for the Call of Duty franchise, Activision said earlier this week it "won't have an Activision booth on the show floor." Instead it will be showing its games, like the next entry in the Call of Duty shooter series, at Sony's PlayStation booth at E3.
VentureBeat confirmed today that Disney Interactive won't be at E3, with a spokesperson saying the publisher will instead have "additional direct to fan engagements through the summer this year". Wargaming, best known for their free-to-play World of Tanks franchise, usually has one of the biggest E3 exhibits. However, a spokesperson told VentureBeat:
"From a strictly business perspective, E3 just doesn't fit our current direction. It's a show that is very centralized on retail product, and as a free-to-play digital download gaming company, we've realized that while the show may be a good fit for lots of other publishers and developers, it's currently not a great fit for us."
The Entertainment Software Association, the organization that runs E3, is stating, at least publicly, that these departures are not going to harm the future of the trade show. Rich Taylor, the senior vice president of communications at the ESA, told VentureBeat:
"Individual companies will make their own decisions in each iteration of E3," Taylor said. "Overall, E3 for the past several years as been among the best shows we have ever experienced. E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It's still the place to be. We have a record number of press briefings this year in the ramp to opening the show. That's an indicator that folks recognize how valuable a launch pad it is. Being a part of E3 adds rocket fuel to the attention and eyeballs and interest and visibility of new titles and hardware and innovations that our industry produces each and every year. E3 is a strong, critical, and integral part of our video game ecosystem."