Rumor: E3 2020 may be canceled due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns

E3 2019 sign
E3 2019 sign (Image credit: Martin Garcia/ESPAT Media/Getty)

What you need to know

  • The coronavirus has caused venues all over the world to shut down.
  • GDC was just postponed at the end of February.
  • E3 looks like it may be following suit and may cancel its planned conference in June.

The Entertainment Software Association may be announcing E3 2020's cancellation tomorrow morning due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, if rumors are to be believed. This comes after multiple games industry events like GDC and SXSW were either postponed or canceled as well. If true, this would mark the first time in the show's history that it won't take place.

The floodgates opened up on Twitter Tuesday night after Devolver Digital tweeted that people should "cancel [their] E3 flights and hotels." This led others in the industry to confirm that sources speaking with them had indicated the event would indeed be canceled.

Though Sony had already announced it would not be attending E3 this year, much like how it skipped out last year, Microsoft had big plans to detail the Xbox Series X even further. With the PS5 and Xbox Series X expected to come out next holiday, all eyes were on any next-gen announcements. I'd wager that many companies will be looking to make their announcements over livestream now.

It will be interesting to see the fallout of E3's possible cancellation this year. Many have described the event as a sinking ship that was becoming irrelevant to publishers and consumers alike. Now that publishers may have the chance to see what they stand to lose (or gain) from not attending the show, it could possibly lead them to pull out next year. We'll need to wait and see what changes the event may or may not undergo as a result.

Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and is very happy Xbox is growing a stronger first-party portfolio. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.