So in a move literally everyone saw coming, E3 2020 is canceled. After months of issues relating to publishers and producers dropping out, the general consensus was that the event would be heavily scaled back. The advent of COVID-19 outbreaks worldwide has made it a complete certainty that the event would be canceled, and that’s what just happened. The ESA was feeling let down in the official news release but clarified that it was a necessary move to help protect the health of the public.
It was already looking very likely that the event would be canceled thanks to several high-profile dropouts. Adding in that TwitchCon Amsterdam and various other major gaming events were canceled, just makes this whole thing all the more inevitable. And it looks like many companies had a heads up ahead of time, as Devolver Digital posted “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all” on Twitter last night.
According to the ESA, “we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.” The company will be working with their partners to deal with the fallout from this change. “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
This does leave a hole in the plans of gaming publishers and press that makes June 2020 look kind of barren. It’s very likely that the giant press window that E3 2020 would have occupied will be filled with media releases and remote press conferences of some kind. With remote work becoming increasingly common as the way forward amid outbreaks of COVID-19, it looks like gaming press will adapt to the same landscape.
Many gaming companies have also made the switch to remote working environments as a safety precaution, we can only hope that this helps stem the tide of infections from COVID-19.