To the surprise of very few in the age of the coronavirus, it appears that E3 2020 will be canceled. Rumors began swirling after Devolver Digital sent out a not-so-cryptic hint via Twitter.
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
While no official word has come down from the ESA, anonymous sources have spoken to members who indicated that an announcement would be incoming shortly. Apparently, this was to have happened on March 10th but that it had “slipped”. The cancellation is, of course, due to ongoing coronavirus fears. As with any cancellation of an event of this size — E3 routinely attracts millions of attendees and virtual viewers — the economic impact is going to be big.
It is possible that the annual 3-day event will be canceled outright for the first time since 1996 or that it will be delayed to a later point in the year or that it will become a completely virtual live-streamed event similar to what is being planned for GDC this year. Given that the biggest gaming publishers have been running virtual stand-alone events for their games, it is likely that we’ll see more of that in 2020 from PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Activision-Blizzard, and Square Enix.
We’ll keep you posted as the story develops and we receive an official notification from the ESA.