E3 2020 may be the latest gaming event to be canceled because of the worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus. While the ESA recently stated that the event would continue, as usual, reliable industry figures have stated otherwise this evening.
Both Jason Schreier of Kotaku and the official Devolver Digital account tweeted that E3 is canceled, despite assurances from the ESA that the event was still on. This news follows the cancellation of SXSW and EVE Fanfest and the postponement of GDC. Even events that continued as planned were affected by Coronavirus, with major companies like Sony backing out of PAX East due to health concerns.
Been hearing secondhand whispers tonight from several devs/pubs that E3 is cancelled, although I've also heard from a couple of people in positions to know that the ESA hasn't officially made a decision yet and is still consulting with pubs. Either way, it's only a matter of time https://t.co/Od0MDj3ZXv
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
Given how virulent COVID-19 is, we’re likely to see an official cancellation of E3 soon. The virus continues to spread across the world slowly but steadily. Failure to contain the virus in the United States means that any hope that E3 would continue as normal is over, especially now that Los Angeles has declared a state of emergency.
There are 118,745 cases of Coronavirus confirmed currently, and the global death toll is 4,284. Although the fatality rate of Coronavirus is relatively low in healthy adults, for infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, it’s significantly higher. By canceling E3, the ESA could possibly save lives.
It’ll be disappointing to see E3 canceled this year for both fans and journalists. This would mark the first year without an E3 since the event started in 1995. However, it’s completely understandable that the ESA wouldn’t want to proceed with the ongoing global health crisis. Even if E3 did by chance take place this year, we’d likely see many companies backing out, and the Los Angeles Convention Center would probably be a ghost town.
If I had to guess, E3 will be replaced by independent remote streams. Alternatively, companies may just do their own thing, and we may see big reveals trickle out throughout the year instead of the big info drop we usually get in June.