Back in November, PlayStation platform-holder Sony made the shocking announcement that it would be skipping E3 2019. The company, which had been a mainstay of the annual event, said that would instead begin to experiment with "new ways" to delight its fans.
In a new interview, the company has now elaborated on its decision to pull out of E3 2019. Shawn Layden, the chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios (which oversees all of Sony's game development teams), revealed that Sony just doesn't see the need to be part of an event like E3 anymore. In February, it hosts an event for retailers called Destination PlayStation and because of the 24/7 news cycle of the Internet, it no longer needs to be at E3 to interact with journalists.
Layden also explained that because of Sony's decision to release few major games over a longer period of time, "We got to a point where June of 2019 was not a time for us to have a new thing to say." Layden elaborated that "if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have expectation 'Oh, they're going to tell us something.'"
Rival company Microsoft still seems to see the importance of E3, having announced plans to show up to E3 2019 in a "big" way. But Layden and Sony are hoping that E3 will "transform" itself. "Can E3 transition more into a fan festival of gaming, where we don't gather there to drop the new bomb?" asked Layden, who added that he would prefer if E3 would be a "celebration of games" featuring developer panels that bring dev teams closer to fans.
It's unclear whether Sony will ever make a return to E3. Many had expected Sony to make a return for E3 2020 to show off something related to the PS5. The PS5 is expected to release next year, according to analysts, and showing up at the event would give Sony a massive platform to promote the new hardware.
When quizzed about future announcements and whether they could take place on YouTube, Layden joked that "In a perfect Shawn Layden future, I'm living in Tahiti." While Layden's closing comments in the interview may have been a joke, that could be a real hint at how Sony is going to approach major game announcements moving forward.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons - Gamelab Congreso Videojuegos