E3, In Its Current Form, Isn’t Happening This Year

UPDATE: It’s official. “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 says in a statement.

Original article follows.

Devolver Digital, the publisher known for indie hits like Hotline Miami, published a tweet indicating June’s E3 show was off.

Multiple reports were quick to back up the tweet. A Bloomberg report says an official cancellation will come later this morning at 9:30 am PT. The ongoing impact of the coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc on conferences, music festivals, and shows across the country. As the outbreak continues to intensify, more and more conferences are canceling or postponing.

According to the Bloomberg report, a private memo sent to partners yesterday indicates the ESA (which organizes the show) is looking into the potential for an online version of E3 later this summer. Something akin to a supersized Nintendo Direct.

E3 is the biggest event in the gaming industry, but the foundation has looked shaky for the past few years. Sony already opted to skip this year’s show and have their own event to unveil the PlayStation 5 – which was a huge deal given the anticipation of a new PlayStation console since the PlayStation 4 first released in November 2013.

With the coronavirus outbreak forcing E3’s hand this year, will we see E3 continue in 2021? If it does, I imagine it’ll have a much more fan-friendly experience. Shows like PAX do a fantastic job of letting fans experience the best the gaming industry has to offer. Traditionally, E3 is much more business-focused. That’s changed some in recent years, but it’s a change that has been slow to happen.

We’ll see what the plan is moving forward. Countless publishers, big and small, use the event to show off games coming in the second half of the year and beyond. Hopefully, the E3 show goes on in some form so all the games planning to be there can still get exposure.