E3 2020 has reportedly been cancelled due to the health risks present as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The biggest gaming event of the year, E3 was set to play host to both industry professionals and gaming fans from across the world, with attendees last year numbering a huge 68,000.
After multiple sources speaking to Ars Technica (opens in new tab) and our sibling site TomsGuide (opens in new tab) reported the rumour, indie game developer Devolver Digital released a brief, ominous tweet, which can be seen below:
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.March 11, 2020
Organisers the Entertainment Software Association are said to be making an announcement at 9:30am Eastern Time, and we’ll be updating you in due course. According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab), the ESA penned a memo to partners earlier this week that it’s “exploring options for an online E3 event this summer.”
With tech events such as the Mobile World Conference and Games Developers Conference falling to the coronavirus panic, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the biggest event in gaming was next to go.
However, the online-only event approach is also being taken by GDC, as multiple companies (including Microsoft) will continue to livestream their planned panels and announcement despite the boots-on-the-ground event not actually going ahead.
As the launch of a next generation of games consoles loomed, this year’s E3 was always going to be special. However, one notable absence would have been Sony, which withdrew from the event long before coronavirus panic hit, preferring to hold its own events (such as the mysterious, long-rumoured PS5 reveal).
Other guests would have been games devs anxious to show off their Holiday 2020 slates, including next-gen launch titles. We expect to still learn about these over the weekend of June 9-11 via livestreamed events.