E3 2020 has officially been cancelled, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has confirmed.
While there have been rumors that the gaming expo would not go ahead this year, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has now released an official statement confirming that E3 2020 has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
“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 ESA said in its statement.
“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.”
The city of Los Angeles, where E3 2020 is held every year, has declared a state of emergency around the coronavirus outbreak (via LA Times). E3 2020 was due to run from June 9 to June 11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (E3’s home since 2009).
Not a huge surprise
E3’s cancellation doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Ars Technica previously reported that the expo was most certainly cancelled, writing that “multiple sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)’s plans have confirmed to Ars Technica that the organization, which is responsible for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), will soon cancel the three-day expo.”
Independently of this, the publisher Devolver Digital (Hotline Miami, Katana Zero) tweeted that it was time to cancel travel and accommodation for the expo – lending the cancellation further credence.
In addition, E3 2020 was plagued with behind-the-scenes disagreements, high-profile dropouts and a domino effect of other technology and gaming conferences being cancelled in response to the COVID-19 virus.
Why it’s a big deal
E3 is the biggest show in the gaming calendar, with the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and a wealth of developers and publishers announcing (and often showcasing) their upcoming hardware and games at the conference.
And this year was set to be bigger than ever. With the PS5 and Xbox Series X due to release in late 2020, we were expecting a heap of next-gen games to be announced for the new consoles – as well as a closer look at Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. However, Sony had already confirmed it wouldn’t be attending E3 this year.
Companies including Microsoft, Nintendo, Warner Bros, Bethesda, Sega and Ubisoft were confirmed to be attending E3 2020.
How and when these developers and publishers will showcase their upcoming projects is now up in the air. However we are expecting individual updates from each company to roll out over the next while.
This is a developing story. We will continue to update this article as we learn more.