The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today that E3 2020 has officially been canceled due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears. This year’s E3 was going to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 9 to 11. The city of Los Angeles has declared a state of emergency.
“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,” said the ESA.
They added: “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.”
ESA will reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds. They added that they are exploring options to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June.
“We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry,” ESA added.
This year’s event was going to be the place that Microsoft would be promoting the anticipated Xbox Series X, though some companies have already been sitting out in recent years, at least as far as doing presentations.
Nintendo now does its Nintendo Direct videos online (though they usually do have a booth at the show), and Sony’s PlayStation didn’t attend last year and wasn’t going to this year either. Sony has its PlayStation 5 coming soon.
The news follows the cancellation or postponements of other events due to Coronavirus, such as Coachella and Stagecoach, Austin’s SXSW, Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, and France’s Tomorrowland Music Festival.
E3 is officially described as follows:
“E3 is the world’s premier event for computer and video games and related products. At E3, the video game industry’s top talent pack the Los Angeles Convention Center, connecting tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry.
“For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies, and never-before-seen products will be showcased. E3 connects you with both new and existing partners, industry executives, gamers, and social influencers providing unprecedented exposure to the entire video game industry, all under one roof.”
E3 is owned by Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the US association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies developing and publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the internet.
ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software companies, including conducting business and consumer research; providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property, and technology/e-commerce issues; managing a global content protection program; owning and operating E3; and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations.
UPDATE: Xbox’s Phil Spencer says they will have an online digital event.
E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
UPDATE #2: Likewise, Ubisoft will likely have a digital experience.
An update regarding E3 2020. pic.twitter.com/cThkDIkfVm
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) March 11, 2020