E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is arguably the biggest annual event of the video game industry. However, E3 2020 was canceled two years ago due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. E3 2021 was also held online. Video game fans had hoped that E3 would return to normal this year, but the Omicron variant spreading across the nation has yet again prevented the show from being held in person. “Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022,” stated Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in an official statement. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”
The in-person event for E3 2022 has been canceled, and its digital show remains uncertain. https://t.co/auX816dE9c pic.twitter.com/ygMmbj9Tc8
— IGN (@IGN) January 6, 2022
E3 fans are showing lots of understanding under GameXplain’s E3 YouTube video. “Finally I can go to E3 dressed up in Sonic’s outfit without security escorting me out!” teases Mage of Pisces, one of the commentators. ESA’s decision is possibly a response to the brutally criticized Consumer Electronics Show for holding their event in person, despite the surge of COVID. Although no one knows if the Omicron wave will be over by the time E3 2022 begins, ESA made the reasonable decision to make it online as more than 50,000 people in the industry and over 15,000 E3 fans would all gather in-person at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
E3 going online means that video game fans and media from all over the world will be able to watch the event for free, through a variety of streaming sources including YouTube and Twitch. The stream will most likely consist of a series of prerecorded lectures by major publishers such as Xbox, Nintendo, and more.