Wednesday, March 11, 2020

E3 2020 may actually have been canceled

We’ve heard plenty of chatter around why E3 2020 may be on its last legs – and now it looks like the massive gaming expo has been canceled.

Originally slated for June of this year, E3 2020 was plagued with behind-the-scenes disagreements, high-profile dropouts – we’re looking at you, Sony – and a domino effect of other technology and gaming conferences being canceled in response to the COVID-19 virus.

We’re keeping our eyes peeled for an official announcement, but Ars Technica is reporting that the expo is most certainly canceled, writing that “Multiple sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)'s plans have confirmed to Ars Technica that the organization, which is responsible for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), will soon cancel the three-day expo.”

Independently of this, the publisher Devolver Digital (Hotline Miami, Katana Zero) tweeted that it was time to cancel travel and accommodation for the expo – lending the cancellation further credence.

E3, we hardly knew ye

It makes sense to cancel the expo now, rather than closer to the event’s planned dates, given the amount of planning, preparation, and financial commitment that publishers, devs, and attendees would have continued to pour into the event.

It may be we never know quite how E3 2020 would have turned out, though by all accounts it was shaping up to be a different show from years prior – with a pitch deck proposal from the Entertainment Software Association the event (obtained by GameDaily.biz) describing E3 2020 as a "fan, media, and influencer festival" rather than a trade show, more in the line of Gamescom.

It’s likely we’ll see some curation of online live streams still under the E3 banner, or at least scheduled around the same time by publishers who’d been leading up to certain announcements, trailers, or showcases of their games. And for those of us who weren’t going to attend in person, it likely won’t make a huge difference.

We’ll update this article as and when we hear an official announcement from ESA on the matter.

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