The world has evolved, but E3 has failed to keep up with it, according to Sony’s Shawn Layden.
For the very first time since the show began, Sony will be skipping E3. And not “skipping E3” in a not having a conference but still having a showfloor presence sort of way. They will be skipping E3 completely, and just not have anything at that time at all.
A lot has been said about their decision to do so, but why did Sony make this decision at all? In an interview with CNET, Sony’s head of American operations Shawn Layden mentioned that a lot of this has to do with how information is delivered to customers having changed, and E3 not having kept up with that.
“The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it,” Layden said. “And with our decision to do fewer games — bigger games — over longer periods of time, we got to a point where June of 2019 was not a time for us to have a new thing to say. And we feel like if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have expectation ‘Oh, they’re going to tell us something.’
“We are progressing the conversation about, how do we transform E3 to be more relevant? Can E3 transition more into a fan festival of gaming, where we don’t gather there to drop the new bomb? Can’t it just be a celebration of games and have panels where we bring game developers closer to fans?”
Essentially, inasmuch as this year goes, it sounds like Sony simply didn’t have anything new to show and didn’t want to have to deal with the expectation of showing up and making a new announcement, the kind of expectation that has previously created expectations they have been unable to follow through on for the last few years. Whether or not this means Sony is out of the picture permanently—it sounds like they are, the way Layden words his statements, but still—remains to be seen.