Well, it’s official: E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo, has officially been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, per Gamespot. The ESA, which is responsible for organizing the show each year, just released the following statement:
“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, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles. 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.”
The ESA says that it will also be reaching out to exhibitors and attendees about issuing full refunds, a result that is not exactly guaranteed for every event. Reports from The Verge, Ars Technica, Bloomberg, Polygon, and others had called the cancellation prior to the announcement and Austin-based game publisher Devolver Digitial got ahead of the official word Tuesday night with a tweet telling fellow attendees to go ahead and cancel their arrangements:
The gaming expo was going through some growing pains prior to the threat of coronavirus. Major contributors were already pulling away from the event or distancing themselves in some way, including Sony (for the second year in a row) and former Creative Directors iam8bit. There have been questions surrounding the continued vitality of E3 prior to the outbreak, but this huge cancellation is sure to make matters even more difficult. E3 joins the ranks of SXSW, ECCC, GDC, RuPaul’s DragCon, Google I/O 2020, and other events around the globe.