E3, one of the gaming industry’s biggest and most prestigious trade shows, has just received some more bad news. After EA revealed last month that it would not have its own booth at the event, Call of Duty publisher Activision has just announced that it won’t have a space of its own at the show either.
Activision pointed out that it will be showing off Infinity Ward’s new Call of Duty game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo event in June, but it will be at Sony’s booth, rather than a dedicated one of its own.
"In June, we're going to be at E3 showcasing gameplay from Infinity Ward’s ambitious new game," Activision said in the blog post. "We're looking forward to sharing exciting new details about the next great Call of Duty game in partnership with our friends at PlayStation. We're proud to be participating in this premier video game event, but won't have an Activision booth on the show floor."
Electronic Arts, the world’s biggest games publisher, said last month that it wouldn’t have a booth at E3; instead, the company plans to host two public gameplay events, called EA Play, in Los Angeles and London on Sunday, June 12 - two days before E3.
Like Activision, EA will still have a behind the scenes presence at E3, and will be hiring rooms in the business area to meet with media, clients, and partners.
While EA suggests its reason for not having a booth at E3 is so that fans, who aren’t allowed on the trade show floor, can enjoy the EA Play events, it’s likely that the most influential factor in both companies’ decision was money. Having a large, physical E3 presence can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, an amount that the publishers would rather avoid.
Whether this is a one-off on Activision and EA's part and both firms return to the trade show next year, or if more companies decide to follow in the publishers' footsteps and abandon their E3 booths, we’ll have to wait and see.