E3 2020 cancelled amid coronavirus concerns
Organisers “exploring options” for online alternative
E3 2020 is set to be officially cancelled amid concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to multiple sources.
Instead the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) told publishers on Tuesday it was “exploring options for an online E3 event this summer,” Bloomberg reports.
Publisher Devolver Digital, which usually has a large presence at the Los Angeles show, tweeted on Tuesday saying, “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.”
It will mark the first time E3 hasn’t been held since it started in 1996. An official announcement is expected to be made by Wednesday morning Pacific Time.
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has now led to the cancellation of almost every major video game event planned for the first half of the year, most notably the Game Developers Conference and SXSW.
The ESA had reiterated this month that it intended to go ahead with E3 2020 plans, despite California (the state where E3 is held) recently declaring a state of emergency over COVID-19 concerns.
UPDATE: The ESA has confirmed the news and released the following statement:
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.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: E3 2020 was set to place a large focus on the upcoming new console launches, with Xbox said to have invested heavily in its plans for the show.
Sony said in January that PlayStation would not attend E3 for the second year in a row, but PS5 would still have likely had a strong presence at the show.
One leading investment bank has claimed that if the coronavirus outbreak continues to delay manufacturing in China, it could see next-gen console launches constrained or even delayed.
“The video game sector is currently manufacturing, or beginning to, a once-in-several-years’ product generation change for the 2020 holiday season,” a note from investment bank Jefferies Group read.
“If [company] shutdowns exceed a month or so, game schedules will be delayed. New consoles may likewise suffer supply issues from a prolonged disruption, ahead of their Fall 2020 planned launches.”
One supply chain executive told Nikkei Asian Review that the ongoing quarantine in China could also delay the production schedule of the next iPhone.