E3 2020 conference is reportedly being canceled over coronavirus fears (update: it’s official)

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Update: it’s official, E3 is cancelled. Here’s the statement from E3:

“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 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.

Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.

We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.

We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.”

As the fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread continues to shut down conferences throughout the US, one of the biggest video game conferences of the year may be at risk of being called off. As noted in a report by Bloomberg, The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center in June 2020, is about to be canceled.

“The cancellation is planned to be announced at 9:30 am Los Angeles time on March 11 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), according to a person familiar with the matter. The ESA, which organizes the show commonly known as E3, wrote in a private memo to partners on Tuesday that it is ‘exploring options for an online E3 event this summer.’”

Along with gamescom in Europe, E3 is one of the biggest events for the video games industry, where we often see new games and hardware announcements. The event was expected to be pretty special this year with the upcoming launch of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 in holiday 2020, though Sony announced that it would skip E3 for the second time in a row this year. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft wasn’t on the E3 show floor in recent times, opting last year to hold its own E3 event at Microsoft Theater and the Xbox Plaza at LA. The software giant has yet to share its E3 plans for this year, though if E3 2020 is indeed cancelled, it is likely that Microsoft will follow up.

Previously, E3 organizers said they were “monitoring and evaluating the situation daily” using guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the WHO (World Health Organization). There is no official comment by the ESA yet, but stay tuned for the formal announcement at 9:30 AM PDT (12:30 PM EST).