Due to the impending threat imposed by the new coronavirus, E3 2020 has officially been canceled.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) hosts the Electronic Entertainment Expo every year in the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, but amid increasing public health scares and public event cancellations, the ESA has made the decision to cancel this year’s E3 convention.
“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 ESA said in a public statement. “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 E3 team is devastated to share this news. This decision was not reached lightly, but it is the right one for the health and safety of all involved. Read our statement here: https://t.co/1uOWxTerN9 pic.twitter.com/gD2IxNACLX
— E3 (@E3) March 11, 2020
The statement further states that the ESA will be looking to provide full refunds to exhibitors and attendees.
E3 is one of the most highly anticipated events within the video game industry every year and its cancellation is sure to rock the gaming community.
The event, which was set to take place in early June, was going to feature the top upcoming releases from the leading video game developers around the world, which include Nintendo, Ubisoft and Capcom.
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
The ESA will still look to present upcoming titles in online events. Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, tweeted to fans that they should expect an “Xbox digital event.”
E3 had already been seeing a downward trend in attendance and media attention. Sony was not present at the 2019 expo, and the company was going to be absent again at this year’s E3. In 2017, the ESA opened up E3 to the public to boost attendance.
It is unknown the impact that the 2020 cancellation will have on E3 in the coming years, but it could prove to be a blow to the ESA and the future of the expo.