Geoff Keighley Drops E3 2020: ‘I Just Don’t Feel Comfortable Participating’

After producing E3 Live on YouTube and the E3 Coliseum, Keighley, a well-known games media producer and host, is the latest loss for E3.

E3 has taken quite a few major losses, in a literal way. Now, the latest is one of their biggest, most well-known hosts and producers: Geoff Keighley, an industry veteran of over 25 years, has chosen not to participate in E3 on behalf of organizing foundation ESA.

The announcement was made in both a public statement on Twitter and a press release to outlets. Here’s the text of the message as posted on Twitter, which looks much longer because it’s in the Notes app, like any good celebrity announcement:

A STATEMENT FROM GEOFF KEIGHLEY ON E3: 

For the past 25 years, I have attended every Electronic Entertainment Expo. Covering, hosting, and sharing E3 has always been a highlight of my year, not to mention a defining part of my career.

I’ve debated what to say about E3 2020. While I want to support the developers who will showcase their work, I also need to be open and honest with you, the fans, about what precisely to expect from me.

I have made the difficult decision to decline to produce E3 Coliseum. For the first time in 25 years, I will not be participating in E3.

I look forward to supporting the industry in other ways and at other events in the future.

While this is what was given to the public, Keighley told the Washington Post that his vision wasn’t aligned with E3’s.

“Based on what’s been communicated to me about the show, I just don’t feel comfortable participating,” Keighley told Washington Post. “It’s no secret that E3 needs to evolve and I have lots of ideas around that, but have decided to take a wait-and-see approach. I’m looking forward to learning more about the ESA’s vision for the show beyond what was in the blog post last week.”

In recent years, Keighley appeared on E3’s official YouTube coverage as a host and producer. In addition, much of Keighley’s other E3 work wasn’t on the front lines so much as, well, producing still. Keighley’s latest work at E3 was producing the “E3 Coliseum.” The presentation space worked like a convention “panel room,” allowing developers and industry staff to give talks to attending fans and media.

geoff keighley e3 2019 youtube

“The E3 Coliseum brings video game fans closer to their favorite games and creators,” read last year’s description. “Held during all three days of E3, the E3 Coliseum celebrates the world’s most powerful form of entertainment with panels, conversations and other special events[.]” There’s no word on what changes will be made in Keighley’s absence, but the Coliseum’s page doesn’t 404 when accessed, so chances are it’ll make a comeback.

We don’t know if Keighley’s doing fine, but it looks like it. He’s had a roller coaster of a career, especially in his reputation spike as “Dorito Pope.” Now, he’s most well-known as the producer and host of The Game Awards, which has only grown every year. He even got to do a mini-documentary about Valve!

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However, E3, on the other hand… not as hot. We’re all still furious that last year’s media detail leak, which revealed over 2000 industry workers’ private information. Just today, the E3 site accidentally leaked… itself. And E3 has openly admitted it wants to turn its attention towards the general public and online “influencers.” For industry professionals, these are a few signs that it’s time to turn away from E3. It seems fair as many other industry giants are too.

Sony announced several weeks ago that it won’t formally attend the second year in a row. It’s more of a shock this year because of the impending premiere of the PlayStation 5. Ubisoft won’t be making its major Los Angeles appearance, either. Nintendo basically already ditched the in-person live format for its major presentation years back. (And Microsoft is… more into it?)

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Victoria Rose

Victoria is a Brooklyn-based, chaotic-good former dungeon master and a Contributor-At-Large for Fanbyte. She's a self-proclaimed esports pundit, and used to do Dota 2 news and reporting as a full-time part-time gig. She's also four red pandas stacked in a hoodie. [she/her/hers or they/their/theirs]

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