Due to the growing concerns over COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus, the most significant yearly event in gaming has effectively been canceled. Surprising to no one, E3 is host to some of the biggest players in the gaming industry, so canceling the event was expectedly imminent. But what exactly does this mean for the industry?
“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.
Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.
We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.
We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.”
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is not just a conference where companies announce their next installments in their game franchises. Smaller developers who rely on networking could suffer majorly by not having a place to run into potential connections and investors to fund, publish, or support their smaller games.
Most people only think of E3 as press conferences, but those will be easily replicated. The repercussions will come from the deals that don't happen: the indie pitches and biz lunches and chance meetings that can save companies. E3's cancellation could really hurt some people
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier makes an incredibly valid point, that E3 is extremely important when it comes to making deals to get games off the ground. Sure, those on the consumer side are bummed that new footage or reveals won’t be shown all in one place, but any dev or publisher could scramble together to have a press conference of their own. But there are those whose livelihood depends on making things happen by chatting on the showroom floor.
While we are not surprised that many had already backed out from making an E3 appearance, we are even less surprised by the Expo being canceled completely. However, it breaks our hearts to think about all the games that will never come to fruition because there was no opportunity for people to meet under these circumstances.
E3 is among a growing list of major events that are canceling all across the globe due to the coronavirus. The Game Developers Conference, Coachella, and so many more are also canceled or postponed until a more fitting time presents itself. And even though postponement isn’t as bad as a full stop cancellation, keep in mind that many in the industry may not have the time to reschedule and thus so many deals may not end up happening anyway.
In lieu of COVID-19, we can’t stress enough how important it is to wash your hands and stay safe during such a troubling time regarding personal wellness. Be conscientious and mindful but also, try not to buy all the toilet paper and sanitizer, okay?