It’s official, folks. The ESA has announced that E3 2020 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Their official statement (via Gamespot) reads:
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.
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 also said that they will contact exhibitors and attendees for “full refunds” and that they are currently “exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
That probably means that news by participating developers and publishers will still be announced via an online avenue of some sort. More details will likely be revealed in the near future.
As for E3 2021, the ESA confirmed that plans for next year’s event will go on, described “as a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.”
It looks like E3 2020 might be as good as cancelled, according to multiple sources. It was only last week that E3 2020 organiser Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed that they were still planning for the biggest gaming event of the year.
However, due to the increasing threat of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, the ESA is most likely announcing the cancellation of E3 2020 sooner rather than later. One of the earliest major publishers to allude to this was Devolver Digital, which tweeted this:
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
Reputable and well-respected games journalist Jason Schreier from Kotaku also retweeted Devolver Digital’s tweet and commented that he’s heard from several sources that an E3 2020 cancellation will be announced by tomorrow morning. Schreier also believes “its only a matter of time” until E3 2020 gets cancelled.
But, again, whether or not it’s announced tomorrow morning, it’s only a matter of time before E3 is officially cancelled. Publishers can’t afford to wait much longer to make their plans, and all signs point to the virus getting way worse in the U.S. before it gets better
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
GameDev Business Handbook author Mike Futter also tweeted the same thing, which lends further credence to the Schreier’s sources.
My day started with investigating some E3 stuff. Ended with multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) sources coming my way.
E3 cancelation announcement scheduled for tmw AM. I don’t think it will hold the night. Many of us have been engaged by sources this evening.
Cancel your plans.
— Mike Futter (@Futterish) March 11, 2020
Meanwhile, sources from Ars Technica have claimed that they have heard the cancellation of E3 2020 “directly from ESA members”. Apparently, an official announcement was supposed to be planned for Tuesday on 10 March 2020 but was delayed for unidentified reasons.
At the time of writing, the ESA has yet to give an official statement on the rumoured cancellation of E3 2020. Stay tuned on Kakuchopurei for the latest updates. This is going to get juicy.