IGN reported today that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo — the video game industry’s biggest platform companies, may not have booths at E3 2023.

We have yet to confirm whether that’s true or not, and the Entertainment Software Industry referred an email request for comment to ReedPop, the organizer of the PAX fan shows and new steward of the E3 trade show, which is taking place in mid-June in Los Angeles.

If it’s true, then it’s a blow for the biggest game trade show in the U.S., and that certainly won’t help an industry still reeling with changes from the pandemic and economic downturn.

In a statement, ReedPop said, “E3 is undergoing a transformation from its 2019 iteration based on exhibitor and fan feedback. A collaborative process such as this, with so many stakeholders, takes time. ReedPop remains committed to delivering the best show possible and is excited to share more information on show format and the fantastic exhibitors taking part in the near future.”

The company doesn’t address whether Microsoft and Nintendo, which have been longtime supporters of E3, will have booths at the show as they have pretty much always done. Sony hasn’t been at the show for years and so it may be no surprise that it isn’t coming back.

But Microsoft and Nintendo usually held pre-E3 events that served as magnets for the crowds at E3, which in pre-pandemic days could draw huge crowds of both fans and game industry professionals.

In its healthy years, E3 had 69,200 attendees in 2018 and 66,100 in 2019. Both years had more than 200 exhibitors. But in 2020, the show was canceled because of the pandemic. In 2021, the show was digital only and it had only 33 exhibitors, and in 2022 the show was canceled altogether.

During the pandemic, Geoff Keighley, the host of The Game Awards, started a competing show that drew tens of millions of viewers and even small groups for in-person events, such as one held for the press last year. The competition took its toll on E3, particularly in 2021.

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