The Electronics Entertainment Expo, better known for it’s stylized name “E3”, has been confirmed as cancelled by staff due to fears over spread of the coronavirus. This from an official announcement on the event’s official Twitter page:
The E3 team is devastated to share this news. This decision was not reached lightly, but it is the right one for the health and safety of all involved. Read our statement here: https://t.co/1uOWxTerN9 pic.twitter.com/gD2IxNACLX
— E3 (@E3) March 11, 2020
The decision is unsurprising given the cancellation of several large public gatherings in the wake of the rising amount of virus cases. This comes after an infected individual attended the recently held Conservative Political Action Conference, infecting an untold number of people and putting at risk several high profile political figures including President Trump himself.
Even a recent conference over coronaviruses was cancelled over concerns of accidental spread of COVID-19. Given the coronavirus is not optimally testable yet, coupled with its long incubation time, identifying it has become difficult, and thus these precautions are an essential stopgap for mass transmission.
Given Playstation stopped attending the conference entirely last year (with no signs of changing this year) and The Game Award’s Geoff Keighley having already backed out of the show, it comes as no surprise that the event has been cancelled for the sake of public health and safety. That being said, the event was still slated for many large guests and events to still be held until the recent news. Many already had plans made both on the operational side for businesses and for hotels/activities for attendees.
Prior to the announcement, developer Devolver Digital took to Twitter to give a heads up to its followers in the only way they could:
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
Phil Spencer, executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, says that the company will make plans to engage in a “digital event” to show off this year’s new and exciting features, titles, and console announcements. This will still be necessary for Microsoft given hype over their new Series X console. Ubisoft has also stated that it will partake in a similar type of event this year:
The Entertainment Software Association itself, which is responsible for hosting the E3 event, has also noted that “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.” With this development, it is likely that more companies will make similar announcements for digital conferences.