Well, this is a first. Or at least it’s a first in the 24-year history of E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo that has long been one of the first places video game fans get to see the best and ballsiest titles that the gaming industry has to offer. Except in 2019, the increasingly fan-centric event will be without one of gaming’s core names: Sony’s PlayStation. And when pressed for alternative events timed to E3, PlayStation senior vice president of communications Jennifer Clark clarified, saying, “We will not activate or hold a press conference around E3.”
It sounds like Sony is simply recalibrating their rollouts and where they want to spend their marketing money. Clark said as much: “We are looking at events as a whole and how we can speak more to our fans and continue to wow them. The timing of PSX and E3 didn’t allow for that, but lots of exciting things to come, and we hope to share shortly. Some of our biggest games will have key milestones next year so we will work hard to blow those up.”
Here’s what they had to say about the move (via Game Informer):
“As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.”
The decision to pull out of E3 comes not long after the report that the company will not be hosting their own PlayStation Experience (PSX) event either, as Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Shawn Layden put it:
“Now that we have Spider-Man out the door, we’re looking down in 2019 to games like Dreams and Days Gone, but we wouldn’t have enough to bring people together in some location in North America to have that event. We don’t want to set expectations really high and then not deliver on it.”
When you’re as big as Sony PlayStation is right now, and has been for a while, there’s really no need to go the extra mile and put on a song and dance. Gaming audiences everywhere are already tuned into upcoming titles, bonuses, pre-order incentives, special editions and more thanks to the ubiquity of information on the internet. That being said, for something really big, like hands-on demos of the upcoming Sony PlayStation 5, we’d be surprised if they didn’t return to both their own stage with PSX and the biggest stage possible (for the moment) at E3, maybe even in 2020.