The seemingly unstoppable spread of COVID-19 has been taking its toll on various industries. High-profile annual events have been cancelled over fears of the virus spreading rapidly. Notable ones that were recently called off include this year's Mobile World Congress, Game Developers Conference, and Geneva International Motor Show just to name a few. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), on the other hand, stood firmly by its resolve to allow the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020 to continue. Moreover, this was even after California declared a state of emergency. Now, it seems that the organisers have finally conceded.
This unfortunate but expected update was reported by Ars Technica after several sources privy to the dealings by the ESA hinted that it was inevitable. E3 2020 was originally slated for June 9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
While the group was yet to make a formal announcement via its official channels, a game developer preemptively communicated the news on social media. A post by Devolver Digital on Twitter read "cancel your E3 flights and hotels y'all."
Others claim that members of the ESA were planning to make a public statement on Sunday, but it seems to have leaked beforehand. Prior to this development, gaming industry analysts already speculated that E3 is fated to follow the footsteps of other big events due to the COVID-19 health scare. Almost all major expos for the year will be affected by what will eventually be classified as a pandemic unless a vaccine comes along.
After Sony announced earlier this year that it will not participate for the second year in a row, all eyes fell on Microsoft and Nintendo. The Xbox Series X has already been revealed with several follow-up announcements detailing some of its features. E3 2020 was purported to be a full reveal with information about its pricing and launch titles included. Due to this development, it is currently unclear how the company will approach the matter.
Aside from Sony, longtime host Geoff Keighley is also taking a rain check from E3 2020. Given that there were several notable no-shows, many supposedly doubted that the expo would have been successful. Now, COVID-19 effectively forced the people behind it to scrap the event.