Events and conferences are dropping like flies and it’s probably for the best. The outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has thrown many organizations and their planned events into chaos, some canceling just days before schedule. Others, however, may be hoping that it will all be fine in a few months despite calls for cancellations and the withdrawal of key participants. It seems that the E3 gaming conference may be next in line which further raises questions about the event’s future.
Once one of the most attended and most popular video game trade event of the year, E3, short for Electronic Entertainment Expo, has fallen on hard times. There have been high-profile in-fighting and debates on what the show is really about and who it is for. The latest to make a public show of discontent was Sony who announced its withdrawal from this year’s event two months ago.
While that move made a big splash, it might have been for naught if E3 2020 is being canceled. There is no announcement yet and Ars Technica’s sources indicate that the time for that slipped. They are, however, certain that it is really the case.
The main reason the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will most likely give is the outbreak for the virus and concern for attendees’ and organizers’ health, despite the event being scheduled in June. Of course, it won’t be surprising if some paint it as a convenient excuse to cancel what is already a troubled conference anyway.
With or without an official announcement, some participants are already calling for others to cancel their attendance, mostly over COVID-19 fears. At this point, it isn’t yet known if alternative events and announcements will be live-streamed instead just like what GDC and its own participants are doing. The ESA has yet to comment on the breaking news but the longer it takes, the more suspicious E3 critics are likely to get.