- According to a report from Variety, Sony’s PlayStation branch has declined to attend E3, the video game industry’s largest annual conference, next year.
- This would be the first time that Sony declined to attend since the event started in 1995.
- Sony’s PlayStation 4 is currently the best-selling console on the video game market, supported by a number of exclusive blockbuster titles released this year.
- The company also declined to hold their own annual fan conference, PlayStation Experience, this year, with Sony Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden claiming there weren’t enough major announcements to warrant the event.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s largest video game conference, could be losing one its biggest presenters next year, with reports suggesting that Sony Interactive Entertainment will not attend the event or deliver a keynote address at the 2019 event.
Sony has been present for E3 every year since it launched in 1995 – the same year the first PlayStation was released.
Variety first reported that Sony would be skipping the conference, based on the company’s absence from the official press release announcing E3 2019, issued by E3 parent organisation the Electronic Software Association. While Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony’s two biggest competitors, had quotes in the announcement, no Sony spokesperson appears to have participated in the announcement. GamesBeat later reported that the ESA had confirmed Sony’s departure.
PlayStation has dominated the video game industry this year with major releases like “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and “God of War.” The PlayStation 4 still remains the most popular console on the market, and the PlayStation VR is one of the best-selling virtual reality headsets.
However, Sony has few high-profile PlayStation-exclusive titles on its release calendar for 2019, perhaps explaining why it’s decided not to make a big on-stage hullabaloo at the next E3.
Indeed, Sony declined to host its PlayStation Experience festival this year for the first time since it began in 2014, which it chalked up to a lack of meaningful announcements. Sony Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden spoke about the decision not to host PlayStation Experience on a promotional PlayStation podcast in September.
“We wouldn’t have enough to bring people all together in some location in North America to have that event,” Layden said on the podcast. “We don’t want to set expectations really high and not deliver on it. It was a hard decision, but we have determined that this year we will not hold PlayStation Experience.”
Following the initial reports, Sony Interactive Entertainment offered the following statement to Game Informer regarding their withdrawl from E3:
“”As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” the company told Game Informer in a statement. “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.”
Business Insider has reached out to both Sony and Electronic Software Association for further comment on the situation.