E3 Cancelled For Next Year And BeyondThe Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shindig has been a staple of game industry life since the mid-1990s. However, we understand the larger exhibitors have jointly decided that the costs of the event do not justify the returns, generally measured in media exposure. Publishers believe the multi-million dollar budgets would be better spent on more company-focused events that bring attention to their own product lines rather than the industry as a whole. Well placed sources say the news that larger exhibitors were pulling out had prompted urgent meetings among publishing executives. They decided that, without the support of the larger software publishers and hardware manufacturers, there would be no point in continuing. ESA president Doug Lowenstein will likely announce the news some time within the next 48 hours, possibly on Monday. Its likely that the ESA will seek to limit the damage by organizing some form of lesser event in May, possibly even with the E3 brand, but this will be no more than a fig-leaf. The days of an industry event attended by all the major publishers, spending big money, are gone.