E3 Expo has finally announced its awaited return.
After waiting three long years, the Entertainment Software Association announced that E3 2023 would organize the popular trade show for its return. E3 is historically known as the game industry’s largest experiential conference and is now scheduled for a comeback in the Los Angeles Convention Center in the second week of June 2023.
Initially canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, the ESA held an all-virtual E3 Expo from June 12 -15, 2021. Unfortunately, this year’s event was canceled altogether. After another year of no live show or brand experiences in Los Angeles due to ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus and its variants, the ESA announced it would skip a virtual show in 2022. The decisions were made to focus on delivering an improved in-person and virtual hybrid experience next summer of 2023. FGPG shares the latest updates on E3 2023 and walks through the impact of the last projects they created for E3.
E3 Los Angeles Past Hardships
Since the mid-90s, the Los Angeles-based convention has hosted the video game industry’s annual gathering for major gaming product announcements, brand activations, and experiential marketing. E3 has always held the crown for the biggest gaming event in the world until the show faced some adversity. Pre-Covid, the show was declining slightly, and we haven’t seen an in-person event ever since.
Needless to say. A few controversies loomed in 2021, as restrictions were placed on who could live stream E3’s digital-only event last year, and a social feature that revealed streamers’ personal details. As brands increasingly relied on digital activations during COVID-19 in 2021, hardships were faced for this year’s event right before ESA announced the cancellation of the whole event over concerns. However, many are hopeful that as public gatherings continue to succeed, we will see a huge comeback next year in the second week of June.
New Partnership Will Bring Back E3 in 2023
ESA, the trade group that hosts the convention annually, also announced their latest partnership to produce E3 2023 with ReedPop. This event production brand brings us PAX, New York Comic-Con, the Star Wars Celebration, and many more. Before the pandemic, E3 showrunners were under scrutiny in recent years for the decline of the E3 Expo, which led major brands like Sony, Nintendo, and Activision to leave E3’s events to create their digital events. But E3 is planning on returning the event to its top form next year with bigger and better experiences for the gaming community.
“We are thrilled to bring back E3 as an in-person event with ReedPop, a global leader in producing pop culture events,” said ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis.
With the announcement of its return, E3 2023 will welcome back all publishers, developers, journalists, content creators, manufacturers, exhibitors, gamers, and licensors. Additionally, the convention is expected to feature digital showcases and in-person consumer experiences. Even the ESA, praised the 2023 event as a “week of titanic AAA reveals, earth-shaking world premieres, and exclusive access to the future of video games.”
ReedPop president Lance Fensterman added:
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege for ReedPop to take on the responsibility of bringing E3 back in 2023. 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 websites.”
What We Know About E3 2023
Considering we are 11 months away from the first in-person E3 since the start of the pandemic, we still need to stay tuned for a lot of details. But here is what we do know so far about the event’s timely return.
Although ESA did not share any specific date for the E3 2023, it’s expected to return to the second week of June next year, and media registration will begin later this year. Confirmed exhibitors, hotel and travel details, event schedule, and other important information will be shared in the months to come, ESA announced.
It was in 2019 that we last saw the video game frenzy, when the convention drew 66,100+ attendees, according to the ESA.
FGPG is celebrating 20 years of experience making. As a full-service, live, virtual, and hybrid brand experience agency, we take pride in creating authentic experiences that connect people, brands, and culture. With the latest announcement of E3, FGPG walks through its most recent E3 carefully curated exhibitions and brand experiences.
Fortnite at E3 – Immersive Experiential Booth
Fortnite is one of (possibly THE) the most popular survival games where 100 players fight against each other in player vs. player combat to the last user standing— relatively known as a fast-paced, action-packed game with an estimated 125 million players.
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, approached FGPG with a plan to build their E3 booth as an immersive in-game party experience to celebrate their loyal fans and community. In E3 2019, FGPG constructed a 10,000-square-foot interactive exhibition. From the BoogieDown Challenge to a Supply Llama Rodeo, there was plenty of excitement and delight to keep all Fortnite’s players, partners, and friends engaged from show open to close.
Guests were drawn into the booth from afar by a massive 12-foot-tall backlit Fortnite logo suspended above an actual BATTLE BUS. Complete with a custom-fabricated 18-foot hot air balloon and a 100-pound disco ball floating high above the show floor.
Learn more about it here.
2k Games at E3 – Immersive Experiential Booth
To celebrate the launch of MAFIA III, FG|PG created an immersive environment, devoting half of 2K’s 120’x 100’ double-deck exhibit to the launch of MAFIA III, a game that takes place in 1968 in a fictionalized city called New Bordeaux, LA.
Custom designed architectural elements transported attendees to another time and place, while experiential elements captivated attendees with memorable encounters, complete with Mardi Gras revelers throwing beads from balconies.
A series of staggered storefronts introduced gamers to what they’d expect to see while playing the new game. An old-style theater marquee announced that MAFIA III was “Now Playing,” served as a clever entrance to the actual theater where attendees viewed the long awaited game trailer. Other titles were featured in the booth, too, through large LED screens promoting trailers from NBA 2K17, WWE 2K17 and Civilization VI.
Learn more about it here.
Additional Immersive Gaming Experiences by FGPG
Fall Guys joins the gaming community as another notable survival game. Here’s how the gameplay works: 60 players have to compete over a series of obstacle courses, and only some of them will make it to the next round. On the final challenge, the last surviving competitor is the winner. Some courses are rampage races across bouncy-castle landscapes, where sliding doors and swinging boulders knock unwary sprinters into the abyss; others throw players into a game of football. A disruptive challenge where you have to steal other players’ tails is a bit like the children’s party game where you all have balloons tied to your ankles and must stamp on everyone else’s.
The exhibit space was massive at 150’x70′, we developed a loud design (and fabricated every inch) to support the Fall Guys characters. The booth included 68 gaming stations embedded into existing gaming units we built for Fornite @ E3 several years back, along with a bright pink carpet, a fun green screen photo op, a media wall, and huge inflatables, the largest being the rainbow arch at 26’ long x 3’ deep x 13’ high.
Netflix approached FGPG to construct an experience at Comic-Con for a few of their original releases for their fans. FG|PG designed and built a high-tech exhibit featuring an interactive video tunnel. The 20×30 booth featured eye-catching graphics and impactful signage, but the real buzz was created by an innovative tunnel comprised of 68 monitors. This tunnel was designed to totally immerse attendees in Netflix programming. Guests were able to interact with and preview trailers of the upcoming seasons of Stranger Things, The Defenders, Death Note, and the new movie Bright, starring Will Smith.
Learn more about it here.