If you haven’t heard the bad news already, earlier today the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s E3 conference amid concerns over the rapid spread of COVID-19.
“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry,” said ESA in a statement, “we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.”
E3 is the largest convention in the video game industry so naturally not only are countless fans disappointed, but also the numerous publishers and developers that use the conference to showcase their work each year. In the spirit of the convention, a number of companies still plan to use this period of time to showcase their work, but instead of at an empty convention hall, they’ll be doing so digitally.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s lead for Team Xbox, announced on Twitter Wednesday that his team still intends to celebrate “the next generation of gaming.” Details and timing for their digital presentation will be made available in the coming weeks.
Microsoft is currently preparing to launch its highly anticipated next-generation console, the Xbox Series X, slated for a holiday 2020 release. The company will be showcasing the console in a two-day livestream event next week.
E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
As with Microsoft, Ubisoft has stated their support for the ESA’s decision to cancel E3 2020 and is “exploring other options” to present fans with a digital experience for what would have been delivered had the conference not been cancelled. There’s no timetable available as to when more details will be released.
An update regarding E3 2020. pic.twitter.com/cThkDIkfVm
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) March 11, 2020
The ESA is exploring other options to possibly provide fans with a digital experience, but there’s no word at this time on what they may look like or what companies, if any, would be involved. Expect more information from some of the larger publishers as this story develops.