Ubisoft has backed out of E3 2023 and will instead host its own Ubisoft Forward Live separately in LA at pretty much the exact same time.
A Ubisoft spokesperson said to VGC, “While we initially intended to have an official E3 presence, we’ve made the subsequent decision to move in a different direction, and will be holding a Ubisoft Forward Live event on 12th June in Los Angeles. We look forward to sharing more details with our players very soon.”
Ubisoft had previously aligned themselves with E3 last month, but has now decided to go their own separate way, seemingly with an in-person event of their own to compliment an online showcase and stream. Of course, to outside observers, they are basically still doing E3, with the 12th June event the day after E3 kicks off digitally on 11th June and in person on 13th June. In other words, Ubisoft has decided, along with the rest of the games industry, to eat E3’s lunch without paying them for it.
This really throws E3 2023’s show into doubt. Nintendo and Microsoft have already said they be in attendance, though we expect a Nintendo Direct and there’s the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase already set for 11th June. The E3 2023 “Digital Week” will include The PC Gaming Show, Future Games Show, Guerilla Collective and Black Voices in Gaming, but as with the last few years, these will run whether E3 happens or not. And then there’s the Geoff Keighley-led Summer Game Fest that will preceded E3 and kick things off on 8th June.
So… what does E3 itself have to offer? We’ll have to wait and see if publishers like Konami or Square Enix sign up for it, but they might also prefer to hold a digital showcase and skip out on paying for floorspace. ReedPop has stated that “AAA companies, in addition to indie darlings and tech and hardware firms” were committed to the show, but none had been made public outside of Ubisoft.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed that Sega and Tencent will not be in attendance and it looks like any plans Konami had for an event have been moved back to 2024. The whole event is looking shaky with one source saying “There’s no possible way this show can happen.”