With E3 2017 just around the corner, more and more developers/publishers are starting to finalize plans for the upcoming trade show. However, according to a recent announcement, one of the biggest names in VR won't be making an appearance this time around.
Over on Venture Beat, they're reporting that Oculus will not be in attendance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Of course, plenty of Oculus games will be on display at various booths and in meeting rooms spread across the LA Convention Center, but one of the driving forces behind modern VR technology won't be holding down their own fort this time around.
According to the initial report, this will be the first time in four years that Oculus won't have its own booth at E3, where it usually hosts meetings and lets folks drop by to strap on a headset and try out the latest games.
There are a couple of reasons why this makes sense for Oculus. For starters, they don't really need their own booth, as plenty of other developers and publishers will be marketing their products for them. All sorts of smaller booths will be set up at E3 for VR gaming where developers will be happily plopping Oculus headsets onto the faces of passersby in order to demonstrate their latest games. Even without an Oculus booth, the Oculus name and the biggest games coming to the platform will still be on display.
Of course, having your own booth does an even better job of getting the word out about what you have to offer as a platform and, even better, lets you control that message. Then again, it doesn't look like Oculus has all that big of a "message" to send this year. They don't have a new piece of hardware hitting store shelves anytime soon and, on top of that, the company's co-founder, Palmer Luckey, recently left the team. Luckey departed Oculus following a handful of lawsuits filed against the company and a potential tie between himself and what is referred to as a Donald Trump troll group, Nimble America. In other words, Oculus likely wants to stay out of the spotlight for a bit until they have something big, shiny and new to discuss.
Oculus won't be the only company missing from E3 this year, however. As in recent years, EA, Activision and Disney Interactive won't be hosting their own booths, opting instead to either share the spotlight at other booths or host their own smaller event nearby.
In other words, E3 continues to change. Combine all of this with the fact that the public will be allowed into this year's show and there's no telling what the 2017 conference will actually look like until the week of June 11 arrives.