It really wasn’t looking likely but now it has been confirmed, the most prestigious videogame event on the calendar, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020 has been officially cancelled.
In an official statement the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) said:
“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.”
Like other global events such as the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and the Facebook Developer Conference (F8), the ESA is looking into digitising the event in some way: “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect countries across the planet, with new cases being reported every day. This has forced severely affected countries like Italy to shut down all but essential travel on health or professional grounds.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) was possibly the first major event to cancel mostly due to the number of companies which pulled out citing health and safety concerns. GDC saw a similar effect when Facebook, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and more begin dropping out. The ESA has instead taken an early proactive approach instead of waiting until the last minute and causing problems for exhibitors and attendees.
HTC, on the other hand, has taken a different approach for its Vive Ecosystem Conference (HTC 2020 VEC) which is usually held in Shenzen, China. It will be held entirely in VR. How well this will work remains to be seen, if successful it could pave the way for future VR events. VRFocus will continue to report on the latest events affected by the coronavirus outbreak.