Information was spreading last night with that was making it sound like E3 was bound to be canceled. Last night video game developer and publisher Devolver Digital tweeted out the following;
Devolver Digital’s tweet strongly hinted at the fact that E3 2020 would be canceled and today it became official as today The Entertainment Software Association confirmed via a statement on the E3 website that E3 2020 would be canceled due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 Virus. The ESA said the following in their statement; “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 statement continued; “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 ESA is still looking at options for an online experience that will still let them show industry announcements. As the statement also said the following; “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com”
While the ESA is still looking at options for an online experience some companies have already confirmed that they will now be hosting digital events so that they may still share their announcements with the gaming world. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer and Ubisoft both posted announcements on Twitter that they will have some sort of digital experience to show their announcements.
Nintendo supported The ESA’s decision to cancel E3 by saying the following statement to Polygon; “Supports the ESA’s decision to cancel this year’s E3 to help protect the health and safety of everyone in our industry — our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners.” Nintendo has remained quiet about their E3 plans for 2020 but as the last few years they’ve had digital presentations, it’s likely that will continue in 2020 even with E3 2020 being canceled. Devolver Digital has also done digital presentations so those will continue as well.
It is currently unknown what Bethesda plans on doing now that E3 2020 is canceled, but they’ll likely go the digital route as well especially if the other companies go down that route. E3 2020 was also going to be the first year WB games had a presentation, with rumors that they were going to announce a new Batman game and a Harry Potter RPG. Hopefully, those announcements still find their way in June via a digital presentation of some sort.
E3 is the industry’s 2nd big event to be canceled to fears of the Coronavirus with the first being GDC. But while the physical E3 2020 is canceled, it will live on via digital presentations and announcements in June. For more information about E3 2020 being canceled be sure to check back here on FrameLag.