After rumours, leaks and suggestions from the public to do so, E3 2020 has been cancelled in an effort to keep as many people safe from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“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,” reads a large banner announcement on the official E3 website.
This convention is usually a massive source of new reveals and other bits of marketing from around the world of gaming, and some would argue is the biggest and most important event of its type every year. It being cancelled in 2020 leaves many companies who would be showing either no way to do that, or left to make their own plans.
For example French publisher Ubisoft has revealed that they support the decision to cancel the event and that a “digital experience” will be used to share any information that was originally planned for E3.
We assume that many of the other publishers and developers will take a similar route with avenues such as livestreams, which allow a big show to be put on without the need to gather thousands of people in an enclosed space where COVID-19 can spread.
E2 is just the latest of these kind of shows that has been cancelled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. Mobile World Congress (MWC), Google’s developer conference, and more have similarly been given the axe this year.
Outside of the world of tech and gaming other events have also been postponed or outright cancelled. The newest James Bond film, No Time To Die, was pushed back to a November release after it was supposed to launch this month. There’s even rumours that the 2020 Olympics in Japan, a country greatly affected by the pandemic, will be cancelled.
Back to E3 though and the team behind it will be “reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds”. While this is good news for those involved it still creates other problems such as flights and accommodation which have likely already been paid for.