There will be no E3 this year.
The world’s largest videogames show is the latest casualty of the coronavirus outbreak, with the organiser, the ESA, confirming it will no longer take place this June.
In a statement on the dedicated E3 2020 website, it described the decision as tough but necessary: “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 9-11 June in Los Angeles,” it said.
“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.”
Considering there are indications that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak could peak in the west around that time, this is an understandable outcome.
E3 follows other big name games and tech shows that have already been postponed or removed from the schedule.
SXSW’s cancellation was also confirmed this week, and that followed GDC (the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco). We have also lost Mobile World Congress, Geneva Motor Show, Baselworld, Google I/O and several others. There are even doubts that Gamescom and IFA will take place in Germany in August and September respectively.
In terms of what was due to happen at E3 2020, the biggest setback will be the expected launch of the Xbox Series X. Xbox was due to have a major show, not least thanks to the absence of PlayStation for a second year in a row.
However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer did tweet that plans are afoot to stream a launch event digitally instead.
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