Update Mar 11, 2020: ESA has officially announced the cancellation of E3 2020 for the first time since 1995.
“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 ESA said in a statement. “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.”
ESA has stated that they would be in touch with vendors, exhibitors, and attendees regarding full refunds. They have also stated that they were looking into the options of an online experience for industry announcements and news on June 2020 though nothing substantial has been confirmed. Xbox, Ubisoft, and Limited Run Games have confirmed plans to either explore or host their own digital events. Limited Run will still host a press conference on June 8 as previously scheduled.
Original story Mar 4, 2020: There have been concerns about how the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) would affect the largest annual gaming event, E3. Event organizers, ESA (Electronic Software Association) have stated their plan to move ahead with the event as initially planned despite the growing concerns of the outbreak.
In a statement to Vice‘s Patrick Klepek, ESA said “Everyone is watching the situation very closely. We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness, and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees. Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June.”
Here’s what the organizers of E3 told me about the GDC cancellation, and whether it will impact E3. No changes right now. pic.twitter.com/etwWpIivkb
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) February 29, 2020
While ticket sales and booth registrations are still continuing, the idea of cancellation is not completely off the table. This completely depends on whether the outbreak will be contained by June, as E3 is scheduled for 9th-11th June in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center.
This statement comes after the GDC was indefinitely postponed due to several companies in the game industry drop out of the event citing the risks around the outbreak. Sony and Oculus were the first companies to drop out, followed by EA, Kojima Productions, Playstation, Facebook, Microsoft, and Epic. GDC was initially supposed to take place from the 16th through the 20th of March in San Francisco.
According to an update on the GDC website, Informatech, the organization behind GDC, “made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March” after “close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world.
Prior to the news of the outbreak affecting events, Sony had announced that they would be skipping E3 for a second year and E3 Coliseum Host Geoff Keighley had opted out of the event.
Here’s a list of every developer and publisher who are confirmed for E3 2020:
- Square Enix
- Bandai Namco
- WB Games
- Amazon Game Studios
- Deep Silver
- Epic Games
- GungHo Online Entertainment America
- HORI USA
- Kalypso Media Group
- RDS Industries
- Take-Two Interactive
- THQ Nordic
- UnnamedVR by Paracosma
- XSEED Games