Updated: After sources confirmed the cancellation, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has officially decided to skip this year’s E3 due to COVID-9 concerns.
The annual event will not take place this June as previously scheduled.
ESA confirmed in a statement:
“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,”
The decision came after careful consideration — given that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
“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.”
Fortunately, the ESA will keep in touch with both exhibitors and attendees to issue “full refunds” without any hassle.
The organizers are also “exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
There has been no further details shared about the cancellation yet, but ESA already confirmed its plans for E3 2021. It will be “a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the cause of disruptions in the gaming industry over the past months.
In particular, PAX East was heavily impacted by the effect of the virus as a few developers decided to skip the event to avoid putting their teams at risk of infection.
The Game Developers Conference 2020 was also put on hold, primarily due to health concerns since a lot of the studios and publishers stepped back on the event.
There’s a silver lining to all of this, though. Not every gaming event may be cancelled in the midst of growing COVID-19 fears.
E3, one of the major gaming events in the industry, is confirmed to be pushing through despite health risks. The event organizer has confirmed in a recent statement.
Entertainment Software Association, the event organizer behind E3, reveals the event preparations and planning is still moving full speed ahead in an interview.
“Everyone is watching the situation very closely.”
“We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees.”
“Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June.”
E3 is scheduled from June 9 to 11 in Los Angeles. The annual event allows publishers to announce their next game titles or reveal official consoles over the past years.
Moreover, the event has also shifted recently to cater to a more fan-centric environment.
There are video game and tech giants that skip the yearly event, though. Sony, for example, confirms it won’t make an appearance at the event for the second year in a row. This is mainly due to the shift of the event’s focus.
However, big names like Ubisoft, Nintendo, Xbox, and Bethsda Software already confirmed this year’s attendance at the E3 event.
The fact that Sony is not attending to possibly launch their well-coveted and hyped PlayStation 5 (among other titles and updates) is already a major blow to the event.
On March 4, Los Angeles declared a state of emergency. The ESA respectively issued a new statement about the ongoing situation:
“Our E3 team and partners continue to monitor COVID-19 via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are actively assessing the latest information and will continue to develop measures to further reduce health risks at the show.”
The city of Los Angeles, now under a state of emergency, informed the public further of the following guidance:
“The state of emergency allows the city and county to qualify for additional funding needed to prepare for COVID-19 in the future, if such funds are needed at all.
City officials will continue to prioritize measures and guidelines that are focused on cleanliness and safety.
The city of Los Angeles website is a source for local information.
Again, please know that we will continue to evaluate new developments and provide updates, as needed.”
Regardless, the looming fear over coronavirus infection continues by the day. It’s likely that more companies may back out soon from E3 because of health concerns and the risk it entails.