Eulogizing E3: The Rise and Fall of Gaming’s Bombastic Hype Machine

Opetunde

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), once the epicenter of the gaming universe, has finally flatlined after a storied 28-year run. As the lead trade show where blockbuster titles debuted and megaton announcements shattered the internet, E3 delivered unmatched hype year after year. Now fans and journalists alike mourn its passing while celebrating the glorious chaos it unleashed.

I attended multiple E3s over the past decade covering the spectacle for KnowTechie. From the deafening beats pulsing through the Los Angeles Convention Center to surprise celeb sightings to hands-on gameplay previews, E3 overflowed with magic. It represented childhood dreams fulfilled for industry hopefuls and veterans alike.

I vividly remember crossing the threshold into a videogame wonderland for the first time, mouth agape at the dazzling booths and glitzy screens. I met lifelong friends and contacts at E3 parties and events between appointments. The show facilitated face time that forged professional bonds and scoops well beyond the four-day blitz.

But behind the theme park glam, E3 began as a calculated industry gathering – a lower-key counterpart to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) dreamt up by a lobbying consortium. Media hype elevated its status over time into a cultural touchstone announcing the future of interactive entertainment.

Yet as competing events emerged and publishers began defecting, the E3 juggernaut started losing steam. The 2022 edition already ommitted mainstays like Sony and Activision after the COVID cancellation. So while the 2023 news stings, the writing was on the wall for E3’s diminishing returns.

Of course E3’s industry-centric mission birthed the global reveal fest we know and love. So I’ll certainly pour one out for the deceased show while lifting a joyous toast to the innovation it catalyzed for decades. Because generations of gamers ultimately won thanks to E3’s one-of-a-kind technical showcase and hype machine. May it rest in power forever!

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