Every year Los Angeles hosts gaming’s largest and most glamorous gaming convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo — E3. E3 plays host to a wide range of the industry’s largest announcements with several of the major players even running their own conferences. However, amidst concerns over COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, E3 2020 is now officially canceled.
ESA issued the following statement about E3:
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.
However, they are looking to “coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
The road to the death of E3 2020
Prior to the official ESA announcement, several sources within the games industry commented on the matter last night. The first to speak up was Enter the Gungeon publisher Devolver Digital, whose tweet told fans to cancel both their E3 flights and hotels.
Soon after, this was then quote retweeted by Kotaku’s news editor, Jason Schreier. In his tweet, Schreier commented that he had heard from “people in positions,” that this year’s E3 was looking increasingly unlikely.
Been hearing secondhand whispers tonight from several devs/pubs that E3 is cancelled, although I've also heard from a couple of people in positions to know that the ESA hasn't officially made a decision yet and is still consulting with pubs. Either way, it's only a matter of time https://t.co/Od0MDj3ZXv
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
This is hardly the first case of a major event being canceled due to the coronavirus. Just last month, both Facebook canceled its F8 conference and Google its I/O 2020 developer conference. We’ve even seen a multi-billion-dollar sports league potentially shut down with Italy’s leading football league, the Serie A, put on hold for over a month.
The E3 cancellation decision is understandable. There have been over 120,000 reported cases worldwide, over 4,000 of which have resulted in death. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous when elders are involved. One study placed the mortality rate of those over 80 who catch COVD-19 at a terrifying 14.8%.
We will keep you updated on how ESA chooses to proceed from here.