The Entertainment Software Association has cancelled E3 2020, resulting from the exacerbating global situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak (via Variety).
“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,” said the ESA in a statement. The organisation was “monitoring and evaluating” the viability of the summer trade show, all the while other industry events aborted their plans, such as the Game Developer Conference and the Taipei Game Show.
The ESA confirmed that it is confident in its choice to cancel. “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,” continued the statement. E3 2020 exhibitors and attendees will be contacted regarding “full refunds,” and the organisation is considering holding a digital showcase of the industry announcements and news that were planned for June.
Presently, there are 121,844 cases of COVID-19 across the globe, with 4,375 deaths from the virus. China is the country with the highest number of cases, and in the majority of western countries, the confirmed cases are increasing by around 33 per cent a day. There are 1,016 cases in the United States; Washington, New York, and California account for over half of all cases. Health officials stress that, though symptoms of COVID-19 are mild for most people, the elderly or those who are immuno-compromised face a significant risk of developing severe illness from the outbreak.