PlayStation has confirmed it will not attend E3 for a second year in a row.
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020,” a spokesperson said.
“We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.
“We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favourite content.
“We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”
E3 organiser The ESA said in a statement responding to Sony’s decision: “E3 is a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world.
“E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike. Exhibitor interest in our new activations is gaining the attention of brands that view E3 as a key opportunity to connect with video game fans worldwide.”
Sony had attended every E3 show prior to its surprise omission in 2019.
According to VGC sources Xbox’s events team had been working under the assumption that PlayStation would not return to the Los Angeles show in 2020 and upped its plans accordingly.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told VGC in a PS5 reveal investigation that he believed Sony’s decision not to attend E3 2020 was “a huge mistake.”
“As far as I know, they don’t plan to attend,” he said. “I think that’s a huge mistake, as their ‘focus on the consumer’ is not inconsistent with their attendance at the premier industry trade show. I hope they change their minds, but I am sceptical.”
According to an E3 2020 pitch deck sent to the lobbying group’s members (which includes most major game publishers), the ESA has been attempting to re-brand the long-running industry event as a “fan, media and influencer festival” for this year’s show.
Influencers and paid celebrity appearances were a big part of the proposed overhaul, including a redesigned West Hall at the LA Convention Center, featuring eight “experience hubs” among traditional game company booths.
ESA members were said to have voiced approval for the new floor plan.
In August 2019 the group also angered media attendees after it leaked a list of personal details belonging to over 2,000 members of the media who attended E3 2019, including their home addresses and phone numbers.
Following the leak, the ESA said winning back the trust of its media partners was its “top priority.”