COVID-19, more casually known as the coronavirus, has been taking a toll on the entire world in 2020. While the number of deaths is relatively small, the WHO has officially classified the matter as a pandemic and world governments are scrambling to establish quarantines as cures remain in development. In the meantime, several business, events, and organizations have either been cancelling or postponing activities until at least the summer. One event everyone in our space had eyes on was E3 2020. This morning, the ESA officially confirmed E3 won’t be happening this year after a night of “rumors” circulating throughout the industry.
Scrutiny over the ESA’s plans began shortly after many media and industry organizations began dropping out of GDC, leading up to that event being postponed. E3 2020 is further out in the year, so the ESA was taking a “wait and see” approach. Last night, journalists and some publishers started sharing rumblings of a cancellation, all but confirming the upcoming announcement. Eventually, the gaming community knew exactly when the announcement was planned.
Sure enough, the ESA released a statement right on time announcing the full cancellation of E3 2020. The statement notes that the ESA came to this decision after consulting members and participants, and the organization sees cancelling as the best option based on the COVID-19 situation as it stands. The ESA also stated it would be contacting exhibitors and attendees directly with regard to refunds. Travel accommodations are another matter entirely however, and Devolver Digital notably was the first to suggest publicly that fans and participants alike should cancel their plans as soon as possible.
In the meantime, publishers and developers are exploring more options to get their planned announcements out, and the ESA itself is also looking into some sort of official online presence for this year. The statement ended with, “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.”
Source: Press Release