Last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, drew 66,100 attendees. The 2020 gaming showcase had been scheduled to run June 9-11 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A. The expo is produced by gaming industry trade group Entertainment Software Assn.
“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,” ESA said in a statement.
The statement continued, “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.”
ESA said it will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about “providing full refunds.” The trade group said it’s also exploring options to produce an online event to showcase industry announcements in June.
Among other events canceled or postponed by coronavirus worries was this year’s Game Developers Conference. The company that produces GDC cancelled the event in San Francisco scheduled for March 16-20 but this week announced plans to stream speaker sessions and awards ceremonies next week on Twitch.
E3’s cancellation comes after Sony Interactive Entertainment already said it would skip the event for the second year in a row — but it wasn’t a decision prompted by the coronavirus situation. In January, Sony said “we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” The gaming giant is gearing up to launch the next-generation PlayStation 5 console, which is scheduled to ship in time for the 2020 holiday-shopping season.