E3 2020 Officially Cancelled Due To Coronavirus
We’ve seen multiple video game conferences and events cancelled over the past few weeks due to the Coronavirus and the need to contain the spread of it. Although it wasn’t scheduled to take place until June 9-11, the ESA has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s E3, which would have taken place at the LA Convention Center in California.
The show has been evolving over the past few years, even selling tickets to the public to go hands-on with upcoming video games. Sony didn’t show up last year and this year they announced plans to skip it as well. Other big names like EA often do their own thing around the same time of the year – although it’s unclear now if any publisher will hold events due to the virus situation.
What does this mean for Nintendo fans? Well they were supposed to have a big presence at this year’s E3, just like usual, but now we have to wait and see what, if anything, they’ll do now. Obviously they could easily air their usual E3 Direct since it’s just a video and didn’t feature a live audience. They could also air some Treehouse Live segments right from NOA headquarters, as they’ve done that on occasion before as well. I think these are options Nintendo will consider, but the cancellation of E3 might free them up to host whatever they want whenever they want. In other words, maybe that week in June will silently pass us by with no word from Nintendo and instead they’ll air a Direct in July or something.
It might depend on what other companies plan to do. We could very well still get Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, EA, Square Enix, and Digital Devolver conferences via a Nintendo Direct like video presentation all during that week. That’s what I’m hoping for because it was always a fun time to take a few days off work and soak in all of the video game announcements and previews. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to hear what sort of plans are in the works.
It should be noted that the ESA did say they are exploring options to coordinate an online experience in June of 2020 to share announcements and news. If that does in fact come together then maybe all is not lost!
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox has announced that Microsoft will go ahead with a digital presentation to show off the new Xbox Series X.
E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
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.
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.
Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.
We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.
We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He’s currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.