Many have long said that E3‘s diminishing influence over the years has partly contributed to a number of major publishers either pulling out of the show or running their own events simultaneously. This was further cemented by E3’s transition from an industry trade show to a public event, the first year of which saw a number of companies complain about mismanagement and chaos. While E3 continues to argue that it’s still as relevant as ever, data shows otherwise.
According to SuperData Research, AAA publishers are doing just fine without E3. The firm revealed that Twitch’s average minute audience (average amount of viewers watching a live event at any given minute during the broadcast) reached 1.51 million during the PlayStation 5 reveal event. In contrast, the Xbox E3 2019 show reached 0.94 million, and Nintendo’s E3 2019 broadcast peaked at 0.56 million.
While one can argue that there was a lot of hype surrounding the PS5 reveal event and that Covid-19 contributed to an increase in viewership, it’s worth noting that Ubisoft – a regular E3 participant – attracted more viewers to its July 12th livestream than its E3 2019 show despite the fact that it suffered from a number of leaks and was being put through the wringer over recent misconduct allegations. Even the PC Gaming show attracted a higher viewership on Twitch than it did during E3 2019.
SuperData’s analysis is further supported by Games Industry’s recent report on the same topic. According to the publication, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Marvel’s Spiderman: Miles Morales scored much higher than any game debut at E3 2019 including Elden Ring and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
The numbers don’t lie. E3 organizers have a lot of work to do if they want the event to regain its former glory.