Just as the rumors last night foretold, E3 2020 has been officially canceled. It won’t surprise anyone to learn that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak was the deciding factor in pulling the plug on E3 2020, but in this case, the show’s organizers seem to be playing things exceptionally safe; while other major trade shows have been canceled with two or three weeks of lead time, E3 2020 wasn’t scheduled to happen until June.
“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,” the Entertainment Software Association wrote on the E3 website today.
“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.”
The good news is that the ESA will be reaching out to exhibitors and attendees to provide information about obtaining refunds, so if you were slated to attend the show, it sounds like you’ll be able to get your money back. Like GDC, the ESA will also look into hosting an “online experience” to showcase the big announcements that were planned for the show. More information on that will be coming at a later date.
While it isn’t surprising to see E3 2020 canceled, it’s still a big blow to the games industry, especially in a year where Sony and Microsoft are planning to release new consoles. Sony already announced that it would sit E3 2020 out, but Microsoft was expected to give the Xbox Series X a full reveal at the show. That may still happen considering that the ESA is looking into ways to move the show online, but we’ll just have to wait on the organization for more.