Ubisoft no longer plans on attending this year’s physical E3 event. In a statement to VGC, the game publisher has decided to ‘move in a different direction’, and instead, hold its own separate Ubisoft Forward Live event on June 12 in Los Angeles. The news comes after last month’s investor call, where the company CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed its E3 attendance with ‘lots of things to show‘. With PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo pulling out of the summer video game extravaganza in January, E3 2023 does not have any major publishers expected to be present.
“E3 has fostered unforgettable moments across the industry throughout the years. While we initially intended to have an official E3 presence, we’ve made the subsequent decision to move in a different direction,” a Ubisoft spokesperson told VGC. “We look forward to sharing more details with our players very soon.” The upcoming E3 event marks its first in-person iteration since the pandemic lockdowns, and is being handled by ReedPop, who have prior experience setting up the New York Comic-Con and Pax.
As for exhibitors, the organisers previously stated that ‘AAA companies to indie darlings and tech companies will be announced leading up to the expo’. Those interested can sign-up for passes on the E3 website, with the event scheduled to run from June 13–16, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
It’s not surprising to see major publishers backing out of E3, as Geoff Keighley’s digital-only Summer Game Fest proved that it’s totally viable for companies to market their game without paying large amounts for a physical booth. Just like Ubisoft, Microsoft is planning an Xbox Games Showcase on June 11, which segues into a presentation for Bethesda’s much-awaited space RPG, Starfield.
Meanwhile, PlayStation continues holding its occasional State of Play events to showcase new games and updates. Last month, ReedPop President Lance Fensterman alluded that the organisation is pleased with the ‘progress and engagement from the community’ with regard to E3. “As we have confirmed exhibitors we are eager to share more as details get cemented and participants ready their own detailed plans,” Fensterman said in an interview.
Back in February, Ubisoft finally confirmed the reason behind its several game delays and cancellations in recent years, with CEO Guillemot claiming that the company was just producing way too many titles. Ubisoft cancelled three unannounced projects, in addition to postponing the hotly-anticipated naval combat game Skull and Bones for the sixth time. The enigmatic Beyond Good and Evil sequel has also hit a setback, as the studio’s managing director reportedly left the company at the start of 2023. The game still hasn’t entered full production.
The Ubisoft Forward Live event is scheduled for June 12; further details on the same will be revealed in due course.