E3 2021 ImageSource: ESA

What you need to know

  • Every year, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) holds E3, an event for video game industry news and showcases.
  • E3 2020 was canceled and E3 2021 was held online-only due to the pandemic inducing numerous health concerns.
  • The ESA has confirmed that E3 2022 will also be online-only due to concerns regarding the Omicron variant.

Update, Jan. 6 (5:22 pm ET): IGN reports that it is currently unclear what E3 2022 will look like or if it will actually even happen, per sources speaking anonymously.

E3 2022 will be an online-only event, the ESA confirmed on Thursday. In a statement given to VentureBeat, the ESA said that "Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022," while adding that "We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon."

This will be the third year of pandemic-disrupted events held since the beginning of the pandemic. E3 2020 was canceled, while E3 2021 was also a digital-only event due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. Some companies like Microsoft, Nintendo and Ubisoft have continued to take part in E3, holding game showcases as part of a collection of digital events.

Other companies like Sony and Activision have pulled out of E3, holding events or reveals on a different schedule as needed. Notably, Sony pulled out and did not take part in E3 2019, well before the onset of the pandemic.

Shortly after the news regarding E3 2022 broke, Geoff Keighley, host of Summer Game Fest, Opening Night Live at Gamescom and The Game Awards, re-confirmed on Twitter that Summer Game Fest would return in 2022.

We'll be sure to provide updates on big gaming events, putting together a schedule as more and more companies confirm their plans for reveals and showcases in the coming months.

Update, Jan. 6 (5:22 pm ET) — The future of E3 is uncertain

A report from IGN indicates that the ESA actually gave up on holding an in-person E3 2022 event months ago, and that the future of E3 as a whole is currently uncertain.