Update: Confirmed as cancelled:
NEWS: E3 2020 CANCELLED DUE TO GROWING CONCERNS OVER COVID-19 VIRUS
After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.
Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.
Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.
We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.
We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.
If you had described the world to me, as it is now, a decade ago, I would have told you to stop watching disaster thrillers. Putting aside much of the things going wrong with the world, the crisis of the day is the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus.
Now, it seems, the ramifications of this new disease have hit gaming once again. Reports from reputable sources like Ars Technica are saying that E3 2020 is going to be cancelled in the coming days.
An Industry Institution, Brought Low by Time and Panic
E3 has been a staple of the game industry since the 1990s, but I would be ignorant to say that it hasn’t declined in recent years. With a medicore 2018, Sony backing out of 2019, and this year looking to be bare as well, it seems this could be the final nail in the show’s coffin.
Even Devolver Digital, known for their brash humor, also gave people a heads up in the form of a tweet:
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
Of course, they usually do a digital stream anyway, but given that other sources, supposedly from within the ESA (who runs E3), are also reporting an upcoming cancellation, it seems like this isn’t one of their usual jokes.
Given this, it seems like E3 2020 isn’t going to happen, at least not in the way we usually expect. That doesn’t mean we’ll be without gaming news, however. I have some thoughts on what this shift could mean.
Virtual For Me, Virtual For Everyone
While the writing has been on the wall for a few years now, as someone who has never been to E3 in person, I’ve always enjoyed the event as a digital stream in my living room.
Others have picked up on this as well. Nintendo has been doing livestreams in the form of Nintendo Directs for some time now, and Sony is also doing their State of Play, which follows a similar format.
So, if E3 isn’t dead in the water, I imagine it will pivot to a digital event. Either that, or companies will spin off and do their own live events. Microsoft in particular has a show for E3 2020, so it will be interesting to see how they pivot.
Sony already backed out some time ago, so it’s entirely up in the air for what they will do, but given the cancellation of most public events, I have to imagine the PS5 reveal will be done in a virtual fashion, hopefully sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Would you travel to something like E3 with the coronavirus still spreading like wildfire, or do you prefer to enjoy a virtual stream instead? Let us know in the comments!
Article by – Bradley Ramsey
Insert date – 3/11/2020