Another Major Company Is Skipping E3 This Year

Nintendo is going to skip E3 2023 since their biggest game of the year, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases a month before the conference.

By Jason Collins | Updated

nintendo switch

We previously discussed the possibility of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo not attending E3, one of the largest, if not the largest, gaming showcase convention. Following Nintendo’s statement, it’s clear that those possibilities are becoming certainties since the company officially declared its absence from the upcoming event. Can’t say we’re surprised, though; this isn’t the first time Nintendo’s been avoiding a gaming convention.

According to VGC, Nintendo just dropped the announcement that it won’t participate in the upcoming event scheduled to take place in June 2023—the first physical live event since the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s spokesperson stated that Nintendo approaches potential involvements in any event on a case-by-case basis and that the company is always considering various ways to engage with its fandom. Unfortunately, this year’s E3 doesn’t fit Nintendo’s plans, so the company decided not to participate.

As stated at the beginning of the article, this isn’t surprising, although Nintendo maintained regular appearances at E3 before the pandemic struck. However, several things have happened since that might’ve influenced the company’s decision to skip E3 entirely. One of the factors was the pandemic itself, as it prompted gaming companies to organize, promote, and maintain their own gaming showcases. Sony has its State of Play, Microsoft is organizing its own gaming showcases, and the Nintendo Direct proved to be a massive success.

So, why share a spotlight with your competitors at a single event when you can organize and broadcast your gaming showcase online, directed at your dedicated audience? Seems like a reasonable choice. Then again, Nintendo was reluctant to maintain a presence at other public events, like Gamescom 2022 and the Olympics — which were held in Japan. But perhaps the biggest reason for Nintendo’s announced absence from the upcoming E3 has something to do with Nintendo Switch.

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Switch is Nintendo’s most successful product in the past three decades. The Japanese gaming giant dominated the gaming market until the release of the original PlayStation, which dethroned its long rule over gaming. Nintendo has since released many other consoles, including GameCube, the massively successful Wii, and Wii U—which was a major disappointment. But all of those paled in comparison to their PlayStation and Xbox contemporaries. Until Nintendo launched Switch, a console that made them relevant in gaming once again.

The massive success of the Switch and its rise to the world’s third best-selling console can be attributed to the overall quality of the console and its major games and Nintendo’s adaptability to COVID-19-induced semiconductor shortages, which severely impacted their competition. In fact, Switch’s availability on the market is what made it the best-selling console during the pandemic. But here comes the important part: If Nintendo succeeds in maintaining Switch’s sales, it’s entirely possible for Switch to dethrone PlayStation 2 as the world’s best-selling console in a year or two.

Nintendo’s handheld is already at the end of its lifecycle, but Nintendo has an ace up its sleeve—the upcoming release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a sequel to the legendary Breath of the Wild. Tears of the Kingdom is scheduled to release a month before E3, and with Nintendo lacking any hardware it could showcase at the gaming convention, along with a new Mario game being far off, it’s quite reasonable to announce its absence and focus on the release, which could provide the company with a chance to once again make history as the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling console.