Are conventions of any kind a distant memory? With Covid not really going anywhere, most of the conventions that took last year off/digital only events are moving along with plans for this year. Moving along basically means to either cancel or keep their event digital. Are digital events the wave of the future?
The Electronics and Entertainment Expo or E3 is one of, if not, my favorite event of the year. Honestly, I started writing so I could eventually gain access to E3. The awfulness that is Covid-19 made event coordinators think fast and that was to cancel the event. Anyone who has eye sight could see that cancelling these events was the right move. It stings to not be able to travel to LA in June to see friends and the newest tech but it's for the best. One of the negative side effects to all this is that developers and companies are seeing that these trade shows aren't neccessary to grow/show their products. Was E3 dying? The ESA must have thought so as they recently opened the event to the public and the only reason the ESA does something like that is because they think fresh blood at the event will liven things up.
It isn't just E3 that put in-person events on hold again this year, San Diego Comi-con has done the same thing. I have never been to Comi-con, either SD or NY, but with issues with large groups of people still around, will these fan friendly events go away? the Penny Arcade Expo or PAX still plans to have PAX East in June this year and my main opinion as to why June was because they knew E3 wasn't going to occur this year. PAX has always been more for the fans anyway as well as actually happening last year. It was one of the last events before everything was shut down and it feels like it was the last event for most people.
However, it brings up my question, are the conventions a thing of the past? I think the answer to this is yes. You could probably sum that answer up in two ways, On one hand, the developers and game companies don't want to spend money for these events as well as coming up with demo material. It could also be said that these same companies don't mind shooting a 2-4 minunte demo reel to show on a Nintendo Direct, for example, where tons of people can watch the trailer over and over. As for the other answer, fans would tell you they love going to these conventions, getting to see their friends as well as the behind the scenes stuff that goes on. I love to attend conventions for the same reasons as well as never thinking I'd get to go to these in the first place.
If the convention scene is a thing of the past, I'll miss it as I always like going to cover them for web sites and getting to see new games/tech. I think I just came up with a new "Trip down memory lane" piece, convention memories.