Update, March 11, 9:19pm IST: The ESA has officially confirmed that E3 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. It is evaluating “to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020” along with its partners. Headline updated to reflect this change. Original story as follows.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2020 or E3 2020 as it’s known has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s one of the world’s biggest gaming conferences and was slated to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This won’t be happening.
While the ESA, the organisation that’s responsible for E3 has yet to announce this, reports from Ars Technica, Bloomberg, and Gamespot, all citing sources close to ESA, state that E3 2020 will be cancelled with an official announcement expected at 9:30am Los Angeles time on March 11. In addition to this, Bloomberg claims that the ESA sent memos to its partners explaining that it plans to explore “options for an online E3 event this summer.”
This follows the exit of E3 2020’s contracted creative directors, the merchandise and events company iam8bit weeks prior and long-time E3 collaborator slash Doritos Pope Geoff Keighley stating he won’t be a part of this year’s event.
E3 2020 is just one in a long list of events, conventions, and conferences cancelled due to the coronavirus. The Game Developers Conference (GDC), SXSW, Google I/O, and even local Indian events like IGX 2020 were all cancelled for the same reason.
Even without the current health crisis, E3’s relevance has been in doubt what with the likes of Sony and EA forsaking it for their own events while Nintendo has opted for its own pre-recorded videos over an E3 keynote. Furthermore, the ESA’s handling of E3 data leaks hasn’t won it any favours either. It’ll be interesting to see what takes its place, though with the coronavirus running rampant, calling it off is a welcome move.