E3 2020 canceled by ESA over coronavirus fears

E3 2020 has been officially canceled by the ESA over coronavirus concerns, it has been confirmed today, with the annual gaming convention no longer set to take place this year.

E3, where the gaming industry descends every year to show off its biggest games and hardware, is no longer set to go ahead. The ESA said that “increasing and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus” had led to it making the decision, withdrawing from its decision to stage the expo on June 9.

“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,” the ESA said in a statement.

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“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.”

The ESA said it would be offering full refunds to exhibitors and attendees.

What’s next for E3?

E3 is the largest gaming expo in the west, with many companies using it as an opportunity to debut their upcoming releases. With 2020 set to feature the launch of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it was hoped that this year’s E3 would show us plenty more next-generation games, but now the event will no longer go ahead.

Rumors abound that E3 will stage an online-only alternative, where publishers and developers able to continue their big reveals without journeying out to the Los Angeles Convention Center where the event is typically held. However, the ESA included no indication that this was its plan in its announcement.