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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 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.

22 Comments
  • They still have the ability to stream key reveals and trailers. There's no need to be overly dramatic and cancel the entire thing.
  • E3 isn't responsible for what Microsoft, Nintendo etc do and don't show.
  • This whole coronavirus is blown out of proportion. More people die from the Flu each year and they don't close things down for it. All people have to do is wash their hands with good old fashion soap and water, take high quality Vitamin C to keep their immune systems up, and take Oil Of Oregano capsules to fight bacteria and parasites in you system then you will be fine. This is what my Dr. told me and I believe him over the news any day. My Dr. also has me get yearly blood tests done to know what my body is deficient in. How many Dr. do you know that do that? I'd rather pay extra for the blood tests than $1000's in ER visits any day. People need to take their personal health more serious because no one else will.
  • "All people have to do is wash their hands with good old fashion soap and water..."
    This. Absolutely this. We cannot and should not attempt to sanitize and sterilize the environment around us. Just practice good hygiene and take care of your health. Our bodies, and the immune systems that protect us, are the results of thousands and thousands of years of exposure to all types of pathogens. Because of that, we persevere.
  • The mortality rate of COVID-19 is 3.61%, the flu is 0.1%. Comparing them is idiocy. Also the washing hands thing doesn't really fly because the same can be said for preventing the Flu. Which we also have a vaccine for.
  • Not true. COVID-19 has .2% mortality rate, and the flu is 0.1%. What does the media lead with? You guess it, COVID-19 has .2% mortality rate. And yes, plain old soap and water is what you need to kill germs. What, all of a sudden after centuries of soap and water use soap doesn't work anymore, only hand sanitizer does? That's the media, and hand sanitizer businesses talking. Just remember one thing, it's a virus NOT a bacteria, therefore it cannot be treated with antibiotics and that's coming from my Dr. Like I said before I'll trust my Dr. over the media any day. Idiocy is believing what the media tells you.
  • Wow what are you talking about? Do you think the number of cases and deaths are bs numbers invented by the media and hand sanitizer businesses?
    Why do people talk about subjects they are clueless about?
  • It's you that doesn't know what you are talking about. I get my information from my Dr. and not the news and yes a lot of what you see is invented by the new media. The problem is people like you don't talk to your Dr. and rely on news and forums for your information. I spent 22 years in the military and I know a thing or two doing my research thank you very much.
  • Uh... what? I'm not saying don't wash your hands, I'm saying that it won't necessarily mean a person won't get the virus. But it'll at least help prevent it spreading. Regarding your statistics, how did you come to that figure?
  • As I mention before I talk to my Dr. and that's where I got my info from. Not all Dr. are in bed with big Drug companies. Some Dr. actually try to heal people so they stay healthy and not cause additional harm. Dr. also have access to DB's they the general public doesn't which is where my Dr. got that info from, but you won't hear that in the news.
  • This is getting silly. Yes, the virus is here and to the extent possible steps need to be taken to mitigate its spread and to protect those at serious risk. But its here and, like it or not, it WILL run its course and there's not one thing we can do to stop that. Close schools? Why? The first time they are re-opened another kid will be diagnosed and then what? Close them again? But canceling all these events is silly. The sooner we allow this virus to run its course the sooner we can all get back to our regular lives. Besides, the more we drag this out the worse the damage will be to our national economy.
  • No... just no. You want the virus not to spread, you want it to infect as few people as possible and eventually die out. Viruses spread exponentially, so for instance if one person infects five people one day, then those five people infect five people the next day and so on. Then in ten days nearly ten million people (9,765,725) are infected. No sane person would want that to happen.
  • You've been watching TV too much. This isn't Resident Evil stuff. The hive isn't coming to get the world.
  • Look at WHO reports, look at the spread day to day. Look at the numbers and FACTS.
    Educate yourself...
  • And you think the WHO is in everyone's best interest? Let me guess you think the FDA is in your best interest to? The WHO is the same organization that classified gaming as a addiction. Yea I'm really going to trust them.
  • Just look at the figures happening in Italy in the last week. That is what happens if you don't try and control a virus. And guess what, all these countries that are hitting triple/quadruple figures in the mortality column all started at only a couple hundred infected at some point. Complacency doesn't solve a problem like this. Basically if a person starts feeling sick, just see a frigging doctor. 99% of the time you'll be fine and it'll be a cold, but if you're part of the 1% (arbitrary figure) and instead of seeing a doctor just go about your day then it'll just make things worse.
  • I 100% agree, and people should be taking high quality Vitamin C to keep their immune systems strong to help fight off virus of any kind including COVID-19.
  • Events like E3 are at the behest of local and national restrictions. And like MWC if everyone just bails anyway, there's not a fat lot they can do. Anyone who gets mad over a games show being cancelled because of a global health crisis needs to take a step back.
  • I understand people don't give a toss about other countries, "oh, who cares about 4,200 people dead, they're not in America so it doesn't matter". Well 9/11 shouldn't have meant anything to the rest of the world either but we still gave a damn about a bunch of dead Americans (and obviously other nations as well, WTC and all, but mostly Americans). The fact of the matter is that what's happening in Italy (161 dead in one day) and Iran now could quite easily happen elsewhere IF the virus isn't kept in check and it's a precursor to the level of fatalities that come has already experienced. China has actually subsided significantly, they have held at just over 80,000 cases for a while now, but other countries are now growing, and they are growing exponentially, the number of cases is increasing by more each day, still not as much as at the start of February but it's still growing instead of shrinking.
  • The rest of the world very much cares.
  • Totally agree. The reaction by some here is really pathetic and ignorant.
    Some people are acting like spoiled children getting upset that their gaming convention is getting cancelled.
  • E3 isn't really all that anymore anyways.