E3 2020 Is Officially Canceled [Update]

E3 2020 Is Officially Canceled [Update]

In the wake of COVID-19 concerns, the ESA is looking to take the event online.

Update, 8:45 a.m. PT: An hour ahead of the previously reported announcement time, the ESA released a statement to Gamespot confirming that E3 2020 is being canceled due to "overwhelming concerns" related to the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

"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," the ESA says in its statement.

The organization is also "exploring options with [its] members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020."

Our original story continues below.

One of the gaming industry's biggest events looks like it will be called off this year. Several reports are saying this year's E3 convention will be canceled.

News about the cancellation seemingly broke after publisher Devolver Digital tweeted out, "Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y'all." A report soon followed from Ars Technica, where multiple sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association's plans confirmed the looming summer expo would soon be canceled.

Bloomberg reports that the cancelation is planned to be announced today at 9:30 a.m. PT, and that a private memo to partners mentions that the expo is exploring options for an "online E3 event" this summer.

While no official reasoning has been confirmed, the likely factor that Bloomberg reports is the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. GDC 2020 has already been called off due to health concerns, as well as other major events like the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

E3 itself was looking to undergo a number of radical shifts in 2020. Notable entities, including PlayStation and former E3 Coliseum host Geoff Keighley, had confirmed they would not be participating in E3 2020. Iam8bit also announced it would no longer be working with E3 2020 with "mixed emotions."

The show was looking to "shake things up" in a year following an information leak and a repeat absence from Sony. The ESA published a statement saying E3 2020 would have surprise guests, insiders, and "experiential zones that delight the senses."

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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