The coronavirus has been the reason behind many major events being shut down or postponed since it began spreading back in December. Yesterday (Mar.11), the Entertainment Software Association announced it is canceling this year’s E3 convention fearing the spread of the highly infectious disease.
“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.”
E3 is one of the most significant gaming events of the year when it comes to gamers learning about new video games dropping from their favorite publishers and major console announcements. Sony already announced it was not going to attend this year opting to hold its own event and going the Nintendo route hosting direct events online, a trend the company started last year.
So with E3 being canceled this year that just left publishers like Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft & Nintendo. While many of these publishers do not show on the convention floor but instead at satellite locations, E3 was still the connecting tissue that brought each company out. In light of the developments, many gamers were left wondering how they would get the news on Xbox Series X — which Microsoft has revealed will have its own “digital event” — as well as upcoming and future games.
Microsoft, EA, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Devolver Digital have all responded to the news of E3 2020’s cancelation issuing separate statements.
“E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year, we’ll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks.”
“The health and well-being of our teams, players, and partners is our top priority, so while we’re disappointed, we fully support the ESA’s decision to cancel E3 2020. E3 is and will continue to be a moment where we come together as a community and share our love of games. We’re exploring other options for a digital experience that will allow us to share all the exciting news we have planned.”
“Nintendo supports the ESA’s decision to cancel this year’s E3 to help protect the health and safety of everyone in our industry—our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners. We would like to express our concern and support for all those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak during this challenging time.”
“We’ll continue to be flexible and redirect our efforts to other ways of keeping our fans up to date about our activities and products. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, large industry events may be untenable for the foreseeable future. But we are considering various ways to engage with our fans and will have more to share as the year continues.”
“We’ve continued to follow the coronavirus developments around the world very closely. Clearly, the situation is evolving by the day, and we’ve been reviewing how it will change our plans for EA PLAY 2020. We will share more soon.”
“The week of E3 has always been a big part of what we do and are genuinely bummed about the cancelation of the event itself. Lots to juggle, but right now, we plan on having a livestream Devolver Direct/press conference and possibly more.”
Other publishers, Take-Two, Bethesda, Warner Bros., Square Enix, and Activision Blizzard, have not announced plans yet.
E3 joins the growing list of major events, either being postponed or canceled altogether.
Blockbuster theatrical releases like the latest James Bond flick, No Time To Die, and most recently, F9 has been delayed.
Photo: ESPAT Media / Getty