- E3 2020 has been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns
- They're exploring options to hold a special "online experience" event in its place
- Microsoft has confirmed it'll stage its own digital event in light of E3's absence
After numerous reports claiming E3 2020 would be affected by the virus, the show has been officially cancelled.
In a statement released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), it was confirmed the Los Angeles event, originally scheduled for 9-11th June, will no longer go ahead.
“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,” the statement reads.
"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."
The ESA however is exploring options to hold an “online experience” event in its place, which will “showcase industry announcements and news”.
E3 2020 isn't happening (Picture: E3)
While there’s doubts over E3's future as a whole, the statement mentions they’re looking to make E3 2021 a “reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry”.
It's unclear exactly what this means for the show, although considering its mainstream reputation as the gaming industry's moment in the spotlight, it might be a while before E3 comes grinding to a halt.
The discussion around E3 being on a downward spiral has circulated for a while, but this year's event had a lot more negative attention than usual - starting with Sony announcing they wouldn't return for a second year in a row.
The E3 team is devastated to share this news. This decision was not reached lightly, but it is the right one for the health and safety of all involved. Read our statement here: https://t.co/1uOWxTerN9pic.twitter.com/gD2IxNACLX— E3 (@E3) March 11, 2020
This was followed by pre-E3 host Geoff Keighley announcing he wouldn't appear at the event for the first time in 25 years, adding further fuel to the fire around whether the gaming conference could be on its last legs.
Following E3 2020's cancellation, Microsoft and Ubisoft have both confirmed they'll host their own digital events to fill the void in the show's absence.
Taking to Twitter, Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer wrote: "E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox Digital event."
E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
Details about Microsoft's digital event, which will likely be a showcase for the Xbox Series X, will be announced in the coming weeks,
If this digital presentation works better for Microsoft than a stage conference however, it might leave more companies questioning why they should bother making a fuss around E3 at all.