There will be no E3 this year, with event organisers the ESA expected to officially announce its cancellation this afternoon.
The seemingly inevitable has happened and the decision has been taken to cancel this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, the world’s biggest video game expo, because of fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
The cancellation is not officially confirmed yet but multiple sources, including indie publisher Devolver Digital and GamesIndustry.biz revealed the news overnight. Website Ars Technica also reports the same thing but suggests the cancellation may not solely be due to the coronavirus.
An official announcement is expected at 9.30am L.A. time, which is 4.30pm GMT. Rumours suggest there may instead be some kind of online event this summer, although whether the same companies would be involved remains to be seen.
Other game events, such as GDC (Game Developers Conference) and numerous esports tournaments, have already been cancelled due to the coronavirus but E3 wasn’t due to take place until 9 June, which some hoped would mean it had a chance of not being cancelled.
The European and Japanese equivalents, Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show, are even later in the year though so if they go ahead in August and September, they may gain additional importance this year.
The other big question for gaming is what happens to the reveals of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, which would normally be expected to be formally unveiled, alongside their games, at some kind of major media event at around this time of year.
No such event has ever been announced though, so it’s unclear what Sony and Microsoft were planning even before the coronavirus. Although Microsoft had implied that it would be using E3 as a major platform to reveal news about its next gen plans.
When it first revealed it would not be attending E3 Sony were planning ‘hundreds’ of consumer events for the PlayStation, something it never elaborated on and which presumably is no longer happening.
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