Two More Publishers Not Attending E3 2016

E3 is one of the biggest gaming events in the world, but it seems that E3 2016 isn’t going to be showing off some of the biggest names in the industry, and that’s a worrying sign for the event organizers and visitors. Following news earlier this week that EA and Activision won’t be having their own booth at all this year, it now appears that both Disney and Wargaming won’t be in attendance either.

Generally, you might think that if they haven’t got a game ready to show, what’s the point in showing up? However, these are huge studios that have always got something in the pipeline as well as many existing AAA franchises to show off. It’s not that they don’t want to, but that E3 is often a multi-million dollar investment in terms of showing off hardware, staff, promotional materials and more. More often these days, we’re seeing publishers and manufacturers hold their own, much smaller and more affordable events where they can ensure everyone is focused on what they want them to be.

“From a company perspective, we’re focusing a large majority of activities on events focused on our players and community,” said a Wargaming representative in an email to VentureBeat. “Whether it’s a small group of players or hundreds at one of our player gatherings, they’re our main priority.

So it seems that Wargaming are wanting to be more community focused, which certainly makes sense. But so too are Disney, who said they want to do “additional direct to fan engagements through the summer this year,” according a spokesperson contacted by VentureBeat.

Speaking to Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications at the Entertainment Software Association, Venturebeat tried to get the perspective of the show runners.

“Individual companies will make their own decisions in each iteration of E3,” said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications at the Entertainment Software Association. “Overall, E3 for the past several years as been among the best shows we have ever experienced. E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It’s still the place to be. We had 27 companies showing virtual reality at E3 [2015], and we expect a similarly strong showing of that technology this year. It remains a very important place to be. We dominate social media. We dominate a lot of traditional media. It’s a launch pad without peer in this industry and entertainment across the board.”

E3 is far from going under, but it’s an interesting trend, as with such big names dropping out, attendance could be lower, causing other companies to play it safe and drop out too.