Yesterday, news organizations were quoting unnamed sources saying that E3 Expo 2020 had been cancelled. But today, The ESA, the group that owns and operates the videogame trade show, made it official.
Citing concerns over the COVID-19 virus, also known as Coronavirus, the ESA said that the safety of the many visitors and vendors expected to attend the show could not be guaranteed, and thus the event needed to be cancelled. They added, with hope, that the show would return next year. A possible online forum to act as a repository for news items that would normally be released during the show is being considered.
The following is a copy of the official letter sent out to the media and show attendees.
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.
It’s no surprise that the show has been cancelled for 2020, as this follows the trend of other big name conventions, events and entertainment venues that are postponing or outright cancelling festivities. For example, the famous South by Southwest festival has been cancelled, alongside countless eSports conventions and gatherings of all kinds. Even the more intimate Game Developer’s Conference, originally scheduled for March in San Francisco, has been postponed until sometime in the summer according to organizers, though it may be wishful thinking that everything will be all better by then.
Even the entertainment industry in general is reeling from Coronavirus and its insidious effects, especially the movie industry which relies on public gatherings for shows, which is unwise during a global pandemic. The new James Bond film, No Time to Die isn’t hitting theaters in April as planned. Due to the Coronavirus, it’s being pushed back until Thanksgiving. Many more movies are expected to follow suit, not just due to legitimate safety concerns, but because nobody wants to risk sitting in a theater with unknown strangers who might be infected.
It’s a safe bet that things will get worse before they get better, and E3 Expo 2020 is just the latest cancellation that can be blamed on the virus. Gameindustry.com will strive to keep you all informed about cancellations and postponements related to Coronavirus.
And please, everyone stay safe out there!