This is understandably upsetting to both fans and developers alike, as E3 is like the video game equivalent of the Oscars or Superbowl. It is a large scale celebration of the industry as a whole, allowing studios to give a sneak peek of what's coming in the future. Its absence is a disappointment, but gamers shouldn't lose hope that a lot of game announcements or reveals will come this year. There are many other avenues and options to receive new gaming information with or without E3.
In retrospect, Nintendo truly was ahead of its time when it first made the jump to introducing digital events in 2011. At the time, this seemed like a bizarre choice when every other major company was still choosing to attend in person showcases, with a digital presentation seeming miniscule by comparison. Over the years, however, Nintendo Directs have become a hugely successful endeavor for the company, and each new one results in a mountain of hype for eager fans.
For this reason, E3 2022 being canceled doesn't really affect Nintendo at all, as the company has its own method and schedule for delivering news to its players. Regardless of whether E3 is happening or not, Nintendo tends to have at least a handful of Direct showcases throughout every year. If there is a huge gap to be filled this summer, Nintendo may see an opportunity to place a big showcase sometime in June to show off its biggest upcoming games like Breath of the Wild 2.
As Nintendo's many Direct presentations had proven to be a major success, other gaming companies took notice and began to offer up similar events. Sony began its own version of this in 2019, aptly titled PlayStation State of Play. These State of Play showcases have since been used to highlight indie titles, announce new games, or even solely focus on one title such as streams centered on The Last of Us 2 or Ghost of Tsushima.
Sony also utilized a digital only stream to officially reveal its PlayStation 5, as well as the platform's lineup of first party exclusives. Despite the PS5 being marketed exclusively this way, and being Sony's first console to not have a proper showing at a traditional E3 conference, it sold very well and has proven to be a big hit. Although nothing is confirmed, it is likely that Sony will want to keep this momentum going and give gamers more teases at what's in store for PlayStation in the months ahead.
Back in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, E3 was canceled as well, dashing hopes of exciting gaming news in the summer. Geoff Keighley swiftly announced a replacement to fill the void left by E3, Summer Game Fest. Many developers, both major and indie based, joined in on the showcase to celebrate the industry and provide gamers with some fun and levity. The 2020 show went on to include the reveal for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, a demonstration of Unreal Engine 5, and more.
The event was such a success that it returned in 2021 as well, bringing its own bevy of new announcements and exciting reveals - the most notable of which being the gameplay reveal for Elden Ring. Even without E3 this year, Summer Game Fest is another viable option for studios to show off the many projects being worked on behind the scenes.