PAX organiser ReedPop is officially taking over E3: ‘We’ll reshape what didn’t work’
The veteran events company pledges to create “a new benchmark for video game expos”
ReedPop, the events company behind PAX, EGX, Star Wars Celebration and New York Comic Con, will officially take over the running of E3 in 2023.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced the news on Thursday following recent confirmation that the flagship show will return in June 2023 for its first in-person event in four years.
As well as running high profile events in the US and Europe, ReedPop is the owner of Gamer Network, which runs websites such as Eurogamer, GamesIndustry.biz, VG247 and Rock Paper Shotgun, and is the network partner of VGC.
Commenting on the news, ReedPop said E3 2023 would welcome back “publishers, developers, journalists, content creators, manufacturers, buyers, and licensors”, and also highlight digital showcases and feature “in-person consumer components”.
It claimed it had listened to feedback from the gaming community and would honour “what’s always worked” about the games industry event, while reshaping what didn’t.
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege for ReedPop to take on the responsibility of bringing E3 back in 2023,” said Lance Fensterman, president of ReedPop. “With the support and endorsement of the ESA, we’re going to build a world class event to serve the global gaming industry in new and broader ways than we already do at ReedPop through our portfolio of world leading events and web sites.”
Kyle Marsden-Kish, ReedPop’s global VP of Gaming who will lead the newly formed E3 team, added: “For years, we’ve listened, heard, and studied the global gaming community’s feedback. E3 2023 will be recognizably epic—a return to form that honors what’s always worked—while reshaping what didn’t and setting a new benchmark for video game expos in 2023 and beyond.”
Even before the pandemic forced E3 into hiatus, the ESA was already facing significant pressure to reinvent the show, with several major publishers including EA, Sony and Activision having abandoned the event in recent years. And that was before the cancellations urged companies such as EA and Ubisoft to enjoy success running their own digital events.
A notable competitor also emerged during E3’s time off in the form of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest. The show held its first in-person event last month and has said it will return in 2023 during the same window as E3.
Commenting further on ReedPop’s plans for the new E3, the company’s head of games B2B Christopher Dring – who says he’s been involved in discussions around the future of the show – claimed the company intended to embrace “everything that takes place during E3 week”.
“… I had a few Zoom calls with some of the people deciding what’s next for E3. These included people from across the company and outside of it… We spent hours discussing what the show could be, and suddenly I got excited,” he wrote.
“We were throwing around ideas about how we could get those consumer and business elements to work. We talked about what we could offer those companies not interested in big booths. We dreamed up ways we could make the event more of a celebration, and less like a battleground. They had thought about it all.
“We discussed ways to embrace everything that takes place during E3 week… whether they’re part of the show floor or not. And that includes things like the PC Gamer Show, and Devolver Digital‘s car park, and yes, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest.
“Because to those watching at home, all of that is E3. To most people, the event isn’t two halls in Downtown LA, but it’s the showcases, the reveals and the video games. E3 is more than an expo, it’s an idea, and one that’s bigger than ReedPop and the ESA. There’s no use fighting against that.
“That desire to unite the industry, irrespective of whether they’re part of the show or not, extends around the world, too. E3 is already a global event, and we want to take that further. Some of the ideas are too ambitious to pull off in one year. But we can certainly give it a try.”