With all of the hubbub happening about the coronavirus, fans had expected that much the Gamer’s Developers Conference (GDC), the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) would either be delayed or cancelled. These suspicions have been confirmed today, with the Expo announcing that this year’s event has indeed been cancelled.
Here’s what the ESA, the organisation behind the event, had to say:
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.
Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.[We are] exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020
Full refunds are scheduled to be issued to exhibitors and attendees. The ESA also wished to acknowledge that this isn’t the end of E3 as it plans to return for 2021.
Since this initial announcement, Ubisoft, Devolver Digital and Ubisoft have all expressed that they intend to hold their own digital conference in order to unveil what they had initially attended to do.
Nintendo are yet to say whether they plan on having a Nintendo Direct as in June as has been their tradition at E3 for years. However, Nintendo has commented on the expo’s cancellation:
Nintendo supports the ESA’s decision to cancel this year’s E3 to help protect the health and safety of everyone in our industry — our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners.
This is the first missed E3 in its history since its inception in 1995.