E3 Losing Vendors As Ubisoft Shifts To Summer Game Fest

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Following the exodus of the “Big Three” from the E3 festivities, Ubisoft has pulled its UbiForward Showcase in favour of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest—along with several others.

While it may come as a surprise to some (or maybe not at all), E3 has been having major issues with keeping a significant presence at their show since the cancelled COVID years. But besides a pandemic keeping folks from gathering, we’ve also seen a slow shift away from, at the very least, the physical event at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

E3 Losing Vendors As Ubisoft Shifts To Summer Game Fest 23033003
Shawn Layden, Phil Spencer, and Reggie Fils-Aimé at The Game Awards in 2018.

Sony hasn’t been a part of the festivities since 2018, all but confirming they won’t be a part of this year’s event either. While Microsoft and Nintendo have stuck around, it appears 2023, things are going to change pretty drastically. Both have confirmed no physical presence on the show floor, with Microsoft throwing E3 a bone with a co-stream of their Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday, June 11th. Nintendo usually has a Nintendo Direct during the week, but no word as of yet if that’ll still happen.

While this shift with the console manufacturers has been happening over the last five years to either digital-only showcases or their own events entirely, we are now seeing major players in the publishing space pulling out, or even worse for E3, taking their announcements elsewhere.

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Geoff Keighley at his Summer Game Fest event.

That’s where Geoff Keighley has stepped in with Summer Game Fest, which is seemingly where most of these publishers and developers are taking their games, with exhibitors suddenly leaving E3 this year. Ubisoft originally stated they would have a show and floor presence, but now they have shifted directions, pulling out of E3 entirely and moving their UbiForward Showcase to the Summer Game Fest lineup.

With Ubisoft making this move, as well as announcements of Devolver Digital joining the Summer Game Fest, SEGA has no plans for E3, Bandai Namco confirming a presence at Play Days (Geoff Keighley’s in-person, media-only event), and Tencent confirming through a spokesperson that Level Infinite would not be attending, the list of possible attendees is getting pretty slim.

E3 2023’s Digital Week kicks off on June 11th, with outside digital events, including The PC Gaming Show, Future Games Show, Guerilla Collective, and Black Voices in Gaming falling under this banner. While Microsoft has confirmed a co-stream, other than those showcases, there is no word on any other big events at this time for gamers at home to watch, while the physical presence seems even slimmer for the time being.

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