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Ubisoft will not attend E3 2023, but it will still host a summer live stream

Ubisoft will no longer be attending E3 2023, even though it said it would participate in February. Instead, the game publisher behind Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry plans to hold its own Ubisoft Forward Live event in Los Angeles this June.

Ubisoft confirmed its change in plans to Video Games Chronicle today, with a spokesperson saying that while Ubisoft “initially intended to have an official E3 presence, we’ve made the subsequent decision to move in a different direction.” This is a change in messaging from just over a month ago when Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said, “If E3 happens, we will be there, and we will have a lot of things to show.”

What caused this change of heart in Ubisoft is unclear. However, it seems like the company found that it could still successfully promote its game lineup without being attached to the Entertainment Software Association’s event. We don’t know much about the Ubisoft Forward Live event other than it’ll take place on June 12 in Los Angeles, but Ubisoft tells VGC that “we look forward to sharing more details with our players very soon.”

This puts E3 2023 in a weird overall spot, as we currently know more about the companies that won’t be at the event — like Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Nintendo — than we do about the publishers that will actually be there. After being canceled in 2020 and 2022 and being digital-only in 2021, E3 2023 was supposed to be the annual gaming trade show’s grand return. Right now, though, the relevance and viability of E3 2023 are questionable.

ReedPop has not yet commented on the fact that Ubisoft is no longer attending E3 2023. 

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Ubisoft Forward 2023: How to watch and what to expect
Star Wars Outlaws key art that features Kay Vess.

Ubisoft will hold its next video game showcase later today. The latest in its Ubisoft Forward series of live streams, this will be a live event in Los Angeles that will provide updates on many of the company's upcoming titles like Assassin's Creed Mirage and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Considering much of Ubisoft's lineup has suffered some sort of delay over the past year or two, this Ubisoft Forward is the company's best chance to reaffirm confidence in its upcoming game lineup.

Fans of series like Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, and and The Crew will want to tune in to 2023's Ubisoft Forward to see what's next for their favorite franchises. Those who want to learn more about previously teased titles like Star Wars Outlaws will also want to watch. If this is a show you're interested in, we're breaking down how you can watch the showcase and what you should expect from it.
When is Ubisoft Forward 2023
The pre-show for this year's Ubisoft Forward will begin at 9:45 a.m. PT today, June 12. That preshow will last 15 minutes, so if you only care about the biggest announcements, you don't need to worry about tuning in until 10 a.m. PT today.
How to watch Ubisoft Forward 2023
Ubisoft Forward: Official Livestream - June 2023 | #UbiForward

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With E3 2023 gone, other gaming events need to step up
A purple E3 logo floats in the air.

Despite how inevitable the complete downfall of E3 felt over the past several years, E3 2023’s official cancellation still strings as it’s a significant loss for the game industry. For gamers, press, and developers, the show served multiple purposes that digital livestreams and scattered publisher-specific events don't currently replicate. In lieu of E3’s cancelation this year, and potentially forever, it’s time for other gaming events to step up and help push the video game industry forward.
Why we lost E3
I’m lucky enough to have the experience of attending three E3 shows across 2017, 2018, and 2019 and many publisher-run events focused on specific games or tighter game lineups. In its final years, E3 felt like the perfect middle ground to the gamer-focused PAX and industry-focused GDC, where people from all walks and sides of the video game industry could come together, see what’s coming in the future, and share their love for games.

It also felt more freeing than publisher-run events, as I discovered and experienced games of all sizes that I may not have otherwise and got to meet many people from every angle of the game industry. Apparently, the Entertainment Software Association struggled to convince enough people that this style of expo was important four years after the last physical event.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Entertainment Software Association president Stanley Pierre-Louis blamed E3 2023’s cancellation on the Covid-19 pandemic, “economic headwinds” due to the current recession that impacted marketing budgets, and the fact that “companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities.”
The first two are understandable and have impacted a lot of physical events over the past couple of years. Still, the last reason speaks to a bit more worrying of a shift for those looking to network, get attention from the press, get a broader look at the industry’s future, or even pitch a game.
What we lose
Events are a great way for indies to get unexpected and much-needed attention from players and the press; look at the chance encounter that got one of our team’s freelancers hooked on Homeseek at PAX East. Now, indies will have to hope to gain attention at those more indie-focused events like PAX or be cherry-picked to be featured in a more prominent company’s showcasing. There’s also the networking and pitch factor to it.

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E3 2023 has officially been canceled by the ESA and ReedPop
E3 logo

The Entertainment Software Association and ReedPop confirmed that E3 2023 has been canceled following a report that broke the news. E3 2023 was supposed to take place between June 13 and June 16.
Earlier today, IGN reported that two of its sources received an email from the Entertainment Software Association saying that this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo has been canceled because it "simply did not garner the sustained interest necessary to execute it in a way that would showcase the size, strength, and impact of our industry." Soon after, a tweet from the official E3 account confirmed that "both the digital and physical events for E3 2023 are canceled."
https://twitter.com/E3/status/1641546610218811393
E3 was once a prominent annual video game industry trade show but has struggled to re-emerge since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. E3 did not take place in 2020 or 2022, and a digital-only attempt at the show in 2021 did not live up to expectations. The ESA was attempting to bring the show back this year with the help of PAX organizer ReedPop, and even approved press passes for the event already, but it appears the developers and publishers have lost faith in E3. Ubisoft pulled out of the show earlier this week after initially committing to be there, while Sega, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and Level Infinite confirmed they wouldn't be there in the following days.
While E3 2023 is not happening, there are going to be many other things for people to look forward to. Geoff Keighley will host a Summer Game Fest show on June 8, Microsoft is holding a Starfield direct and larger showcase on June 11, while Ubisoft will have a Ubisoft Forward Live event in Los Angeles on June 12.

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