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This Year’s E3 Has Been Cancelled


The rumors started last night. Devolver Digital ominously tweeted “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, ya’ll.” Other insiders seemingly confirmed the story. And this morning, the Entertainment Software Association admitted it was true. There will be no Electronic Entetainment Expo in 2020, because of COVID-19.

“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,” they said. “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 deceased event joins over a dozen major attractions scheduled for the next six months that have been postponed or canned outright. In fact, it’s a good bet if you were planning to head to a convention, a vacation, or anything else in the next few months that involves a large crowd of people packed together in one area, you can forget about it. The liability rate is just too great and no one wants to be the one the news blames for an outbreak. Everything is cancelled. No fun for you.

Now people are pondering with furrowed brows if this means E3 could be over for good. The event was leaking vendors even before humanity was dealing with a plague, and this could be the tipping point. Sony has not had a presence on the floor since 2018, and their plans to skip this year were announced months ago…despite the impending launch of the Playstation 5, which you’d think would benefit from a public press showing.

Those who don’t live near E3 or can’t afford the plane tickets to LA may not notice much difference in their lives. Microsoft says they still plan to hold a digital event over livestream, and Ubisoft plans the same. No word yet from Nintendo, but we’d place good money on there being a Direct at the usual time. The bigger question is if all the major publishers will hold their big announcements for June out of tradition, or if they’ll be scattered throughout the year.

The sad truth is that it would make better business sense to spring the big trailer for a new game on a weekend when no one else is doing so. I will always love the loud pageantry of an E3, but the world may have moved beyond it.