E3 2020 Officially Cancelled, a June “Online Experience” Being Explored by Organizers

Nathan Birch
E3 2021

Rumors were flying hot and heavy last evening, and now it’s official – E3 2020 has been cancelled due to the escalating coronavirus health crisis. E3 organizers the Entertainment Software Association issued a press release promising all those who have already bought tickets to the show will get refunds and that some sort of “online experience” is being considered for June.

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. 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.

Some E3 attendees, including Microsoft, have already begun discussing alternate plans. Rumors are swirling other publishers, including Warner Bros. Interactive, may be planning their own Nintendo-Direct-style online events.

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Of course, E3 was already facing challenges before COVID-19 reared its ugly head, as Sony wasn’t attending again this year, and Geoff Keighley announced he would be no-showing the event amid controversial plans to revamp and restructure the show. While the ESA won’t admit this, there’s a good chance this could be a fatal blow for the gaming industry’s longest-running major event.

What are your thoughts on all this? Will you miss E3 this year? Or was the show already not what it used to be?

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