It’s official! With the writing on the wall being so glaringly obvious that even Mr Magoo could read it, The Entertainment Software Association pulled the plug on one of the longest-running shows in video game history. For this year at least, as the group plans to bounce back in 2021 with a new E3 experience. In case you missed the announcement, here’s what the ESA had to say yesterday:
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.
Even though few people were looking forward to this year’s E3 due to the dearth of available big names on the showfloor or gaming personalities running satellite events, E3 was still a big deal for indie and mid-tier developers looking to make connections, do business and show off their wares to the fans who were planning to make their own trek up to Los Angeles.
If E3 was a pizza, then the likes of Microsoft and Electronic Arts with their events being held near to the Los Angeles Convention Center were the toppings that fans paid extra for. In response to the cancellation of E3 2020, many of the industry giants are now making plans to tear a few pages out of the Nintendo playbook and host their own digital livestream in the weeks and months to come.
Nintendo 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. We would like to express our concern and support for all those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak during this challenging time.
We’ll continue to be flexible and redirect our efforts to other ways of keeping our fans up to date about our activities and products. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, large industry events may be untenable for the foreseeable future. But we are considering various ways to engage with our fans and will have more to share as the year continues.
The week of E3 has always been a big part of what we do and are genuinely bummed about the cancelation of the event itself. Lots to juggle but right now we plan on having a livestream Devolver Direct / press conference and possibly more.
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.Xboss Phil Spencer, giving no indication which T-shirts he’ll probably be wearing in the upcoming X-stream
The health and well-being of our teams, players and partners is our top priority, so while we’re disappointed, we fully support the ESA’s decision to cancel E3 2020. E3 is and will continue to be a moment where we come together as a community and share our love of games. We’re exploring other options for a digital experience that will allow us to share all the exciting news we have planned.
We’ve continued to follow the coronavirus developments around the world very closely. Clearly the situation is evolving by the day, and we’ve been reviewing how it will change our plans for EA PLAY 2020. We will share more soon.
Square Enix and Bethesda, who have held their own press conferences in the past, have remained mum so far on their own plans for this year, although I’m already guessing that come June I’m going to need a direct IV drip of coffee into my veins when EVERYONE announces a livestream on the same night. I’m a prophet, I can see this happening.
According to Kotaku’s Jason Schrier, Warner Bros. Interactive were set to host their very first E3 press conference this year. A new Batman game (presumably the one that Warner Bros. Montreal just cannot stop teasing and wounding my very being with) was finally going to be revealed, the lid would be lifted on Rocksteady’s new project and the abitious Harry Potter RPG that Avalanche is rumoured to be toiling away on would also be shown off.
And with that not so minor leak, now I’m sad that E3 2020 has been cancelled.
Last Updated: March 12, 2020