While the expo returned as a full-scale physical event back in August 2022, Crunchyroll announced that they have canceled Crunchyroll Expo 2023. Originally, this anime event was scheduled for August 4-6, 2023.
According to the anime streaming giant, their focus for 2023 will be shifted to attending international events.
While this isn’t the first time that the event has been canceled, it is unexpected given that the previous cancellations were due to the pandemic.
Crunchyroll Expo in Previous Years
As with practically every major event around the world, Crunchyroll Expo (CRX) in 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, many countries around the world still had strict quarantine or lockdown measures.
In 2021, events started happening again as many countries relaxed policies in light of the COVID vaccines.
During that year, CRX made a return, albeit in an online-only form that was free to watch.
Finally, the event returned last year at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
There, attendees were treated to various panels for highly anticipated titles like Chainsaw Man.
Given that the expo wasn’t affected by any COVID-related issues in the same way other anime events were, not a lot of anime fans expected Crunchyroll’s premier anime event to be canceled.
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Crunchyroll’s Plans Moving Forward
Crunchyroll shared an official statement regarding the cancellation on the event’s website.
There, they mentioned their decision “to hit pause on CRX to focus on attending a growing roster of expos and festivals around the world.”
The streaming giant also mentioned that the upcoming 7th Crunchyroll Anime Awards will be unaffected as it will still happen on March 4, live from Japan for the first time.
For now, CRX is the only major anime event that has gotten canceled in 2023. Other events such as AnimeJapan 2023 are still scheduled to happen this year.
Regardless, Crunchyroll Expo 2023 isn’t the only large-scale event that has been affected recently.
Similarly, gaming’s biggest event, E3, has also been rocked by major publishers deciding not to attend this year’s expo.
Many in the gaming industry believe that because of the pandemic, many publishers have begun making their own events or live streams instead of joining a dedicated expo.
There’s a possibility that this is also the case for the anime industry. After all, with major producers such as Aniplex holding their own events, the need for major expos may be declining.
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Source: Crunchyroll Expo Twitter account