E3 2020 Will Still Go Ahead, Organisers Say

E3 2020 Will Still Go Ahead, Organisers Say
Image: ESA

E3 2020 will still go ahead despite increased fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the organisers have announced.

Fears over the outbreak’s continued spread has resulted in the cancellation, postponement or closure of conventions worldwide. The Game Developers Conference postponed their annual industry event later this month after a string of high-profile platform holders and brands, including Sony, EA, Google and Facebook, announced they would no longer attend or imposed travel bans on their staff. Mobile World Congress, the biggest trade show for consumer mobile in the world, was cancelled, and while the consumer-facing PAX East in Boston went ahead, several developers and studios, including those from Capcom and CD Projekt Red, cancelled their appearances.

Major shows in the second half of the year are still weighing up their options. Nvidia today recently announced that the five-day long GPU Technology Conference, which is held in San Jose every year, would be an online-only event instead. “We will still share our announcements,” Nvidia said in a blog post. “This decision to move the event online instead of at the San Jose Convention Center reflects our top priority: the health and safety of our employees, our partners and our customers.”

E3 2020, however, is still going ahead. Organisers ESA said they were monitoring the “situation very closely” in a statement to Vice.

“We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees,” the association said. “Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June.”

E3 was already set to be a massively important show in 2020 because it’s a transitional year. But it’ll also be the first year with the show’s reorganised format and focus on “exclusive/appointment only activations for select attendees”. The direction resulted in host and The Game Awards organiser Geoff Keighley to pull out of the show, although Keighley confirmed on Twitter that he would continue to host a Game Critics Week separate to E3.

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But even the ESA’s confidence might not be enough if fans, who pay $245 to over $1400 for tickets, don’t show. Major publishers have already started adjusting to events of their own, accruing the revenue and attention of fans all for themselves. That problem for the ESA will only get worse if many major companies don’t lift their bans on work travel in time for E3, especially with the virus’s worldwide spread increasing and the prospect of a reliable vaccine at least a year away.


  • Good.

    Honestly, while the risk of infection is real and I understand why people are paranoid, this could be going on for many more months or even years. It wouldn’t make sense to keep cancelling any kind of large scale event just in case of infection for that long, especially at a venue that isn’t anywhere near the epicentre of the outbreak.

    If you don’t want to risk it, then don’t go, that’s fine, but cancelling events like this for an indefinite amount of time just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Also a reminder that since October last year, there have been 18,000-46,000 deaths in the USA alone related to influenza (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm). Just to put things into perspective.

    • You’ll need to remove the trailing “)” from the link above for it to work because the Kotaku parser decided it would be a good idea to add it to the link url.

    • Oh look another person doing that whole: Influenza does X thing. Chalk and cheese. There are reasons why COVID-19 is more concerning, (im not saying its OMG Captain Trips terrible) as the much smarter people from places like WHO have pointed out, PLUS a lot of the concern with this has little to do with the virus, but the repercussions of it on social, financial and manufacturing levels. All of which are intertwined.

      Hell even Sydney-siders cant listen to calm and reasonable information without coming to blows over toilet paper (as I saw today). What hope do the rest of us have if things get a tad more serious.

      Cancelling events like this make perfect sense. From common sense and experts are saying this is only going to get worse before it gets better, in ways they cant totally predict. From a business point of view (EG why invest millions now to stage a conference that may not happen). From a medical point of view, large gatherings in the near future could be bad news, large gatherings of INTERNATIONAL people, especially so. From a social level, a lot of people are very reluctant to leave home, from a simple ‘they may not get home’, to what happens if they get sick in a foreign country. Which takes us back full circle, the public, exhibitors, will be the ones somewhat deciding the business case and if it will be worth it. Sure they can bury their heads in the sand and do a full staging but but if no one is willing to come, whats the point?

    • This kind of attitude towards public health is entirely the reason that pandemics are possible.

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