With no end in sight just yet, the COVID-19 health scare continues to wreak havoc on the various industries. International and local travel has seen a big decline, while demand for emergency supplies surge. Several annual events have already been cancelled or postponed. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 and Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 were the most recent ones to call it quits. Instead of public events, companies are resorting to online platforms to showcase their latest wares. This year's next gaming-related event is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020 in June. So far, reports claim there are no talks about a potential rain check.
The reason behind the previous event being cancelled was due to several high-profile contributors pulling out. Sony was speculated to attend PAX East and GDC 2020 with some important announcements in tow, but announced its withdrawal shortly after its MWC 2020 exit. However, prior to the peak of coronavirus fears, the Japanese company confirmed its plans not to attend the gaming expo for the second year in a row.
This left Microsoft and Nintendo as the biggest exhibitors left for E3 2020. As the number of global infections related to COVID-19 steadily rise, people anticipate even more closures and conference cancellations down the line. With Wuhan coronavirus cases reportedly spreading in the United States, travel is probably that last thing on anyone's mind. Nevertheless, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) communicated with IGN to confirm that the gaming expo will push forward.
Meanwhile, the organisers noted that "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." The statement continued with "given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registrations also are on track for an exciting show in June."
Aside from Sony, frequent host and executive producer of the annual The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley will skip E3 2020. Last month, Xbox executive Phil Spencer confirmed on social media that his team is busy with planning for the expo in June. The Xbox Series is expected to be the highlight with several key announcements likely to follow.