It’s been expected for some time, and Ars Technica is confirming it: E3 is cancelled. The world’s biggest video game trade show, scheduled for June in Los Angeles, will not be happening for the first time since its inception in 1995. Like other conferences in tech and beyond, caution for the spreading coronavirus and COVID-19 disease spurred the cancellation.
Update: It’s been officially confirmed by the Entertainment Software Association.
Often considered a mecca for gamers, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (later shortened to just “E3”) is the industry’s largest trade event, always a showcase for upcoming game announcements and console reveals. Its media blitz is covered by gaming press for weeks.
The show has declined in recent years. Though E3 2020 was expected to have major announcements from Microsoft with the upcoming Xbox Series X launch in the holiday season, PlayStation maker Sony has sat out the last two years, and both Sony and Nintendo have shifted their recent announcements to smaller, self-hosted events.
Many have wondered how much of a future E3 has—this won’t improve matters. As has happened with other conferences, exhibitors will likely shift to web-based presentations and conventional press release announcements.
Mobile World Congress was the first major conference cancellation in February, followed by GDC, Google I/O, and SXSW. Companies large and small are encouraging their employees to work from home in order to limit exposure to the coronavirus.
At this point it’s safe to assume that any major conference will be cancelled in the months or weeks leading up to it, until the epidemic is contained or runs its course. It’s a daunting reality.
Source: Ars Technica