E3 2023 Has Been Canceled (Update: 2024 And 2025, Too)

Update 06/22/2023 4:20 p.m. ET: As spotted by ResetEra, on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the Los Angeles City Tourism Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting and announced updates on tourism-related business and the like. Not usually the kind of thing that gets reported on Kotaku, sure. But in the meeting packet sent out a few days before on June 16, a small footnote on page 21 mentioned some big news: E3 2024 and E3 2025 are seemingly canceled.

Kotaku has reached out to E3 organizer ReedPop for comment and confirmation.

If the next two years of E3 are officially canceled, it’s highly unlikely that the once-popular video game tradeshow will ever return. Earlier this year, after canceling E3 2023, ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis, when pushed to confirm if an E3 2024 was still happening, wouldn’t say, and only answered that the ESA would “have more news to share.” Looks like that’s true, but it’s not good news for folks looking forward to a return of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Update 06/22/2023 5:45 p.m. ET: In a statement provided to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, the Entertainment Software Association—the trade group behind the show—said the fate of the 2024 E3 event has yet to be determined.

ESA is currently in conversation with ESA members and other stakeholders about E3 2024 (and beyond), and no final decisions about the events have been made at this time.

Original story continues below.

E3 2023 has been canceled, as first reported by IGN. This follows multiple video game publishers and companies pulling out of the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo over the last few weeks.

In a report published on March 30, IGN said that two sources have confirmed with the outlet that the Entertainment Software Association (the organization behind E3) sent emails to ESA members announcing the cancelation.

Reportedly, in these emails, the ESA said that while E3 is still a “beloved event and brand” the upcoming 2023 expo had simply not garnered the “sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry.” The email then ended with the ESA mentioning its continued commitment to advocacy work.

Shortly after the IGN report was published, the official E3 Twitter account confirmed the news with this statement:

ReedPop and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have announced that both the digital and physical events for E3 2023 are cancelled.

ReedPop’s Global VP of Gaming, Kyle Marsden-Kish, also released a statement:

This was a difficult decision because of all the effort we and our partners put toward making this event happen, but we had to do what’s right for the industry and what’s right for E3. We appreciate and understand that interested companies wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. For those who did commit to E3 2023, we’re sorry we can’t put on the showcase you deserve and that you’ve come to expect from ReedPop’s event experiences.

E3 2023 was set to start on June 13 and end on June 16.  Kotaku has contacted ReedPop about E3 2023.

Why E3 2023 was completely canceled

In a March 30 interview with GameIndustry.biz, ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis talked about why his organization called off the big annual event, blaming Covid-19 and a bad economy as some reasons for the cancelation.

“We were off to a strong start. There was interest among exhibitors, industry players, media, and certainly the fans,” said Pierre-Louis. “Ultimately, however, there were challenges that proved too large to surmount.”

First, several companies have reported that the timeline for game development has been altered since the start of the Covid pandemic. Second, economic headwinds have caused several companies to reassess how they invest in large marketing events. And third, companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities.

Pierre-Louis did say the ESA was still “committed to providing a platform” for the game industry to market new games and meet up in person. But it wanted to “find the right balance” based on the industry’s current needs. He also said the ESA will continue to advocate for the industry and its workforce, calling it the company’s “primary focus and priority.”

When pushed to confirm if an E3 2024 is on the table next year, Pierre-Louis wouldn’t say, only answering that the ESA will “have more news to share.”

E3 was becoming less popular

While it hadn’t been officially confirmed by the ESA or E3 organizer ReedPop before this report, many had started to question if the annual tradeshow was going to actually happen or not. This past Monday, March 27, Ubisoft confirmed it was no longer attending the show. Previous reports had suggested Sony was skipping E3 this year, too. And Microsoft had already confirmed it wasn’t going to be on the show floor. It was starting to seem like if the show did happen, it might be a bit of a ghost town.

E3 has experienced some rough times in recent years. Before the pandemic hit, the event was already struggling for relevance.

In 2020, the expo was canceled due to covid-19. In 2021, it returned as a digital-only show. However, the 2022 version of the show was canceled again in March of last year. ReedPop later said in July 2022 that E3 would “return to form” in 2023. And I guess it was right, just not in the way it expected.

Update 3/30/2023 6:35 p.m. ET: Added comments from ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis.

Update 3/30/2023 5:35 p.m. ET: Added a statement from ReedPop.

Canceled Ubisoft Sequel Was Inspired By Wind Waker, Elden Ring

The sequel to Immortals: Fenyx Rising (2020’s open-world, Greek-inspired adventure game) was cancelled in July 2023, and we’re just now learning exactly what that game was meant to entail—and how much of a break from tradition it was planned to be for Ubisoft.

According to Axios’ Stephen Totilo, who broke the news on August 21, the sequel (codenamed Oxygen) was an ambitious one that would combine features of two distinct, beloved games: FromSoftware’s action RPG Elden Ring and Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Anonymous sources familiar with the game’s development spoke to Totilo, painting a detailed picture of a “vast game set across a fictionalized version of the Polynesian archipelago, made primarily by Ubisoft’s Quebec studio but developed alongside Polynesian consultants.”

Read More: Assassin’s Creed Publisher Axes Sequel To BotW-Like That Was Pretty Good

 “The goal was also to make a game very different from the rest of the Ubisoft portfolio,” a source told Axios. Instead of the typical Ubisoft map overwhelmingly dotted with icons, Immortals 2 would have far less map markers, and require players “to search harder to figure out where to go, by tracking animals, following the wind, or navigating via the position of stars in the in-game sky,” alleged a source. The core inspiration for this change? Elden Ring.

The sequel would reportedly also be very different from the original Immortals, with more realistic graphics, the abandonment of the first game’s narrator, fewer puzzles, and a “more malleable story in which player choice is significant.” According to Axios’ sources, the player’s character would try and “curry favor with various Polynesian gods” that would give them special elemental powers and the ability to shape-shift. They’d gain new tattoos on their body based on the narrative choices they’d make in game, all of which is rooted deeply in Polynesian cultural traditions and the notion of mana, or the belief that there’s a supernatural force flowing through humans, animals, plants, and more. A player’s decisions would affect the various islands on which Immortals 2 would have been set.

According to Axios, part of the reason Immortals 2 was canned was so that Ubisoft could focus on established IP like Assassin’s Creed Red. The first Immortals game was reportedly developed in just over a year, but the sequel was taking longer because of its ambitious scope and its comparatively small dev team. Apparently, however, “several playable hours were available in an internal demo” by spring 2023, and Ubisoft was “at a juncture about whether to fund full development or nix the project.”

We know Ubisoft ultimately decided to can it, but as Kotaku’s Ethan Gach pointed out in July 2023, Immortals: Fenyx Rising was “pretty good,” and the idea of a more expansive sequel that abandoned some of the tired markers of a Ubisoft game sounds exciting. Oh well, guess we’ll just get more Assassin’s Creed games instead. 

Fan Sues Over KotOR 2’s Canceled DLC On Switch

Jedi and Sith fight in the cover art for KotOR 2.

Image: Obsidian Entertainment

A new gamer lawsuit rises. Three months after Aspyr said it was abandoning promised DLC for the remaster of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords on Nintendo Switch, someone is suing the publisher for failing to make good on its original promise or to offer a refund when that was no longer possible.

The class-action lawsuit (via The Gamer) was filed by Malachi Mickelonis earlier this summer and accuses Aspyr of fake advertising. He apparently bought the game but never actually played it. The lawsuit alleges he was waiting for the “Restored Content DLC” before starting the game on Switch. Oops.

KotOR 2 came to the Nintendo handheld hybrid on June 8, 2022, and the studio promised to eventually add the “Restored Content” as DLC for the game down the road. Originally brought to the PC version via mods, the “Restored Content” pack is essentially a fan-made “director’s cut” of the beloved but much beleaguered 2004 Star Wars RPG. “It’ll drop in Q3 2022,” the studio tweeted on several occasions. It did not.

Instead, the studio announced back in June of this year that it was no longer moving forward with the DLC pack promised at launch. Aspyr offered players free codes for the other remastered Star Wars games on Switch as an apology. The news came after the reports the studio was struggling with its planned, ground-up remake of the first Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for PlayStation 5. A year later, the Texas-based studio is probably in an even worse place as parent company Embracer begins to implode, laying off developers across its bloated portfolio of studios.

“[Malachi Mickelonis] felt completely duped and was upset because he had relied on Defendants’ representations that the Restored Content DLC would be released for KotOR,” the new lawsuit reads. “In fact, Plaintiff did not even play KotOR after purchasing it, instead choosing to wait until the Restored Content DLC was released. But Defendants never did. Plaintiff would potentially be interested in purchasing other games with Restored Content DLC from Defendants’ in the future if they have the advertised content, are not deceptively advertised, and accordingly priced at fair market value without being artificially inflated due to the deceptive advertising.”

The class action lawsuit means anyone else who bought the game can join it, though it’s not clear who else has or will. KotOR 2 was $20 when it first came out on Switch. It’s currently on sale for $7.50.

Sega Just Canceled Its Most Expensive Game Ever

A new report claims that Sega’s recently canceled online extraction shooter, Hyenas, was the publisher’s most expensive game production ever, beating out even Sega AM2’s historically pricey adventure game Shenmue, which famously cost $70 million in turn-of-the-century dollars to develop.

Announced in June 2022, Hyenas was being developed by Total War and Alien: Isolation dev Creative Assembly. It was described as a “sci-fi space piracy multiplayer FPS” pitting teams of players against both each other and NPCs as they fought to steal valuable items and pieces of pop culture. On September 28—just 17 days after the most recent Hyenas beta—Sega canceled the shooter before its official launch. According to developers who worked on the ill-fated project, Hyenas was the single most expensive video game Sega’s ever made.

In an October 4 report from VGC, backed up by a YouTuber with inside knowledge of Creative Assembly, developers explained that the reason the upcoming shooter was canned came down to a lack of direction and an engine change midway through development that caused a lot of headaches.


One anonymous developer, when asked what went wrong, cited multiple reasons, including a “total lack of direction” and leadership that was “asleep at the wheel.” That same dev also claimed an engine change “part way through the process” didn’t help the team working on the game. According to the report, Hyenas was greenlit in an effort by Creative Assembly’s management to create a console shooter with broad appeal. Reportedly the studio management directly named Destiny and PUBG as inspiration.

Kotaku has contacted Sega for more information.

It’s believed that Hyenas was an example of one of Sega’s so-called “Super Games” and had a budget to match, with a developer who worked on the game telling VGC it was Sega’s “biggest budget game ever.”

“Towards the end, there were people from Sega Japan more or less permanently at the UK office,” claimed the anonymous developer. “This has never happened the whole time I’ve worked at CA. They occasionally came to visit and check how a game was looking but as I said previously, generally hands-off.”

While Hyenas was originally planned to be released as a premium title, before it was killed it had become a free-to-play shooter. However, after multiple online closed beta tests for the game, sources speaking to VGC claim that Sega wasn’t happy with the expensive shooter’s progress and that led to its cancellation in late September.


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