As with many events recently, the ESA has announced the cancellation of E3 2020. Concerns of the COVID-19 virus have been growing all week and many scheduled events have been canceled and/or postponed. Not too long ago GDC was postponed as well. So for the first time since its inception in 95, we won’t be getting an E3. Which is a pretty big bummer for many people, both fans and developers alike. The decision wasn’t made lightly and the safety of everyone involved was their main concern.
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.
All is not lost though. The ESA might be able to still bring E3 to the community, albeit in a different format. They are looking into ways to make E3 announcements through some sort of online experience. Whether that’s something like a Nintendo Direct or State of Play remains to be announced at a later date. Other companies have already jumped onto that ship as well. With both Ubisoft and Microsoft (among others) announcing a showcase of their own.
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 https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
An update regarding E3 2020. pic.twitter.com/cThkDIkfVm
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) March 11, 2020
If there was any kind of silver lining to this situation, it’s that this might just give the ESA a chance to start evolving E3. Companies have been straying away from the big show for a while now, with Sony backing out entirely this year. Industry veteran Geoff Keighley also backed out of the event for the first time. E3 has been a flagship event for gamers and developers for a long time but the ESA has been a bit resistant to changing with the times. This could be their chance to start anew.
Either way, this cancellation should help keep more people safe. It’s definitely been an interesting year so far. Hopefully this doesn’t delay anything else, such as the launch of the PlayStation 5. Speaking of which, Sony has been awfully quiet lately.