This week, ESA has confirmed that “we are watching the [COVID-19] situation closely, as the health and safety of everyone involved is our priority.” Following this, other companies who would have presented games at the convention echoed the sentiment of being careful amid the active and increasing spread of COVID-19. Devolver will still be at E3 2020 for example, but won’t present to a live audience. The newest blow to the event comes not as another game publisher drops out, but rather as the group tasked with helping coordinate the on-floor presentations and booths has dropped out.
The latest dropout was announced on Twitter, citing concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the globe. The state of California has already declared a state of emergency after the first deaths were reported in the state from the virus. Various gaming companies have made changes and cancellations as a response to this spread, including Bungie and various AAA companies who are opting for remote work.
The team signed on with the ESA to direct the event on a floor level. iam8bit working as creative directors aimed to give gamers the ultimate experience. The partnership had only been announced in January, and with E3 scheduled for June of this year, it’s unclear just how much work still needed to be done to get the show ready. With the event attendance list in constant flux though, it looks like there’s a bigger reason than ever before to cancel E3 2020.
With COVID-19 looming on everyone’s mind, the other problems surrounding the convention are made all the more terrible. Sony announced it would skip the event for the second year in a row, and The Game Awards producer and host Geoff Keighley revealed he would also not be part of the event after many years of supporting it and appearing on various panels.
At least some companies have said they will be offering a showing though, like Nintendo and Microsoft.