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CEO DATELINE – PlayStation maker to skip video game association’s trade show

Jan. 14, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The maker of the best-selling PlayStation video game console will once again skip the Entertainment Software Association’s annual trade show, but the association is promising a “high-energy” event nonetheless.

 Sony Interactive Entertainment told news outlets Monday that it would skip ESA’s upcoming E3 trade show after having skipped last year’s event. E3 was once the video game industry’s premier trade show where new games and gaming hardware made their public debut, but the event’s influence has waned in recent years with the rise of consumer-focused shows and the industry’s growing reliance on streaming video to generate buzz for new games.

“We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year,” a Sony spokesperson told the video game industry news site The Verge. “We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe.”

The apparent snub comes as Sony gears up for the launch of the next generation of its PlayStation console, which was announced during the Consumer Technology Association’s CES trade show last week. In a statement responding to Sony’s decision, ESA didn’t mention the company by name but instead touted the popularity of E3.

“E3 is a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world,” the association said. “E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike.”

Sony rival Microsoft, which produces the Xbox console, said it still plans to present at E3, which will be held June 9-11 in Los Angeles.