The ESA has officially announced the cancellation of its annual gaming convention, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). E3 is the largest annual gaming event in North America. In 2019, the event attracted more than 66,000 guests to the Los Angeles area. As California and Washington have declared a state of emergency, E3 organizers have closely monitored the health situation.
Rumors rippled throughout the gaming industry as publisher Devolver Digital tweeted March 10 insinuating E3 2020 was canceled. While at the time E3 hadn’t released any statements, various sources seemed to confirm Devolver’s tweet.
Now, according to an official E3 press release, event organizers say the cancellation is a result of increased fears revolving around COVID-19 (coronavirus). Their decision comes after careful consideration for the health and safety of fans, employees, guests, partners, and exhibitors. The convention was set for June 9 through June 11 in Los Angeles, California. Event organizers stated:
“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.”
Continuing, the organization says it will be in contact with attendees and exhibitors with information regarding E3 refunds. They hope to find viable solutions to the event’s cancellation. Especially, they hope to coordinate “online experiences” in place of live industry announcements.
Another event bites the dust
E3’s cancellation comes as a surprise but is just one event in a long list of high-profile industry events being rescheduled or canceled altogether. Coronavirus concerns have infiltrated almost every aspect of the game industry. Most recently, the Overwatch League team Paris Eternal confirmed the cancellation of their Homestand weekend, set for April 11 and 12. Likewise, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league Flashpoint moved their abroad finals in Stockholm, Sweden to their U.S. studio in Los Angeles.