E3 2020 Closed Due To Coronavirus

Welp, it’s official. After weeks of speculation, the ESA has decided to cancel its E3 2020 event. Its name has been added to a growing list of conventions slain by the global pandemic. A list that includes the Game Developers Conference that was supposed to be happening next week. For many members of the industry, these events are a rare opportunity for developers, media, and investors to all meet in one place. I’ll admit, the E3 is one of the highlights of my year. It’s a shit load of work, but I can’t deny that energy I feel when walking through the doors and seeing the spectacle of it all. Here’s more from the Official Press Release:

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.

Though their official statement is that the convention is cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus, this decision comes after months of criticism from major industry players. Both Nintendo and Sony made the decisions to not attend. Mr. Videogames himself Geoff Keighley had also stated he would not be attending for the first time in 25 years (pictured above). With the convention to be held in June, some are speculating that the virus is a convenient excuse for the ESA to call off the show. I don’t personally agree with this line of thinking. It’s likely the case that the virus had caused several key players to cancel their plans, leaving the convention an unmarketable skeleton. Still, I am worried about what that last sentence in the release means. Their entire idea for a reimagined event bringing everyone together is the exact reason it got so much flack in the first place. Let’s hope they have this all squared away by June 2021.

If you want to learn more about Geoff Keighley’s cancellation and E3, check out our Real Professional Ep. 16 where we talk about just that.

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