For those of you who have been keeping up with news about Sony and their media maneuvers, the headline shouldn’t surprise you. They already skipped last year’s E3 and it looks like they might never return to the event.

Program and Event Layout 2 (PDC)
Expect to see more events like PlayStation Experience. Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Speaking to GameIndustry.biz, a spokesperson from Sony Interactive Entertainment confirmed that the company will not be making an appearance at E3 2020. Instead, they will focus on “participating in hundreds of consumer events” all over the world.

“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.”

– Sony

In other words, we’ll be seeing them continue the practice of making big announcements through events such as PlayStation Experience. It’s definitely a lot cheaper compared to hosting a presentation at E3 plus they don’t have to fight for the spotlight with Microsoft and Nintendo.

Can you really blame them though?

Program and Event Layout
Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

E3 2019 proved that the wide accessibility of digital media has made trade shows somewhat pointless. Companies can now generate the same amount of reach and hype through their own livestreams and presentations. So why waste money on securing expensive venues and media coverage?

There was also the case of thousands of journalists having their personal details leaked. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the company that handles E3, responded very poorly when it was happening, forever tarnishing the company’s trustworthiness.

In response to Sony’s statement, here’s what ESA said:

“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.”

With evidence showing that ESA is planning to turn E3 into a consumer-friendly event, things might change. However, I believe it’s already too late to recover from the damages.

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