The Entertainment Software Association announced today that E3 2020 has been canceled. The ESA decided to cancel the expo due to growing health concerns around COVID-19.
Rumors about the possible cancellation started popping up after Devolver Digital posted a message on Twitter last night that read, “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.” The rumors were confirmed this morning on the ESA website.
The decision to cancel came out of concern for the health and safety of the fans, employees, and exhibitors, the ESA said. It expressed disappointment in the official news release but stayed positive for what E3 2021 could bring. The ESA says is working to provide full refunds for fans and exhibitors who have already purchased tickets or made arrangements to be at the expo and will be reaching out soon.
While this is a massive decision within the gaming industry, the cancellation isn’t too shocking following news of other cancellations like GDC 2020, Minecraft Festival and TwitchCon Amsterdam. Most fans were not hugely surprised as several major contributors to the event, including Sony, had already backed out of the expo due to health-related concerns.
There is a bright side to the cancellation. While fans might not be able to attend in person, the ESA stated it is “also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
Remote events and remote work are quickly becoming the norm this year. Many gaming companies have also made the switch to remote working environments as a safety precaution.