UPDATE: It’s official: E3 will not go on as planned. According to a statement released by the Entertainment Software Association, the 2020 version of the event will be canceled due to concerns around the coronavirus.
“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,” the statement read. “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 statement went onto say that while the ESA won’t hold its normal event, “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
EARLIER: The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, long considered the biggest and most important showcase of the gaming industry, will reportedly not take place in June of 2020. The increased concern about the spread of coronavirus and the threat of global pandemic will reportedly force event organizers to cancel the event.
Scheduled to take place June 9-11 in Los Angeles, Ars Technica reported Tuesday night that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will announce E3’s cancelation later this week, though they did not reveal that information publicly as of Tuesday night.
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.
In recent years the Expo had seen a diminishing impact on the industry, as companies opted to do their own events or showcase products and games at other events like PAX East in Boston or CGC in San Francisco. PAX East was held in late-February as scheduled, but CGC was canceled well ahead of its scheduled date. Now, the same can be said for E3.
Rumors that the event would not go on as planned swirled on Tuesday, as companies that were scheduled to participate openly told people to cancel their plans.
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
Others reported conflicting statements from sources that said the event would and would not be canceled, at least not officially by the ESA.
Heard from two people that E3 cancellation will be announced tomorrow AM (both secondhand), and one person w/ ESA ties who insists that it won't be. Normally I sit on conflicting info until I sort out what's true, but with E3 rumors now everywhere, figured I'd be transparent here
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
Earlier in the week, E3’s contracted creative directors, iam8bit, abruptly resigned from its role in E3, causing many to suspect that the event was in trouble.
It’s with mixed emotions that @iam8bit has decided to resign as Creative Directors of what was to be an evolutionary #E32020 floor experience. We’ve produced hundreds of gaming + community events and it was a dream to be involved with E3. We wish the organizers the best of luck.
— iam8bit (@iam8bit) March 5, 2020
It’s possible that large companies will hold livestreamed events showcasing the games and devices that they planned to showcase in Los Angeles, but for now, those who intended to attend will be scrambling to change their plans in the coming days and weeks.