The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 virus has led to the cancellation of many of gaming’s largest events, including the North American giant E3. Initially, the ESA intended to move the convention from a physical platform to a digital event, as many independent developers were doing and went ahead with planning out the 2021 E3 event. The ESA did reach out to publishers and partners for E3 with a set date for 2021. The convention is projected with a June 15-17th of 2021, although they did not mention anything about holding the event digitally.
An E3 representative reached out to PC Gamer to clarify the situation around a digital E3. The representative confirmed that any plans for E3 2020, digital or a physical convention have been scrapped. “Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June. Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on www.E3expo.com, in the coming months. We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences.”
According to the representative, the ESA is focusing on revolutionizing E3 for the next year. Several large publishers that were staples of E3 offered various alternatives to reach their audiences in lieu of E3. The cancellation of E3 and with publishers and developers finding other methods to reach their audience puts the future viability of E3 in question. Despite canceling E3, the IGN is still planning on hosting the “Digital Summer of Gaming” event during the month of June. The event will be supported by Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Devolver Digital, and THQ Nordic with IGN reporting on the event with news and interviews. “With the next generation of console gaming kicking off later this year and gamers eager to learn more about what games they’ll be playing on their new hardware, our online event will be a key moment for publishers and developers to connect with the audience worldwide,” said IGN chief content and product officer Peer Schneider.
The world’s largest gaming convention, Gamescom will be shifting to a digital presentation, but still going ahead. The event will be happening on August 25-29, 2020.