E3 2020 is Cancelled, but Does It Spell the End of E3?
E3 2020 is officially cancelled, according to the Entertainment Software Association. The move follows multiple other event cancellations, including the yearly Game Developers Conference normally held in March.
As expected, the ESA says concerns about health and safety in light of COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreading were behind the decision. The statement says:
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
However, all is not lost for those waiting on the usual series of big announcements at E3. The ESA statement said the organization is looking into an online version of the show for June 2020, complete with a range of "industry announcements and news."
Many are predicting the end of E3 with this year's cancellation. They cite concerns over the ESA's security gaffe last year, leadership departures, and companies realizing they can communicate directly with their audiences like Sony has been doing as reasons why the event is no longer relevant. Microsoft's Phil Spencer's response to the cancellation would seem to confirm publishers are heading in this direction as well.
However, the ESA is still planning an as-usual event for 2021, and some claim this is an opportunity to fix ongoing issues with the event to make it better than ever. So, whether this is the end of E3 as we know it remains to be seen.