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E3 2020 Cancelled: Coronavirus Halts Gaming Conference for the First Time Since 1996

E3 2020 Cancelled: Coronavirus Halts Gaming Conference for the First Time Since 1996

E3 2020 was, like every year, scheduled to take place for three days between June 9 and 11, but the ESA has seemingly cancelled it now, due to coronavirus.

E3, which stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, has reportedly been cancelled for this year. Organised by Entertainment Software Association (ESA), E3 is arguably the world's largest gaming conference that previews the biggest highlights from the gaming world. This year, E3 2020 was not just expected to host the latest AAA gaming titles, but also feature crucial announcements from the two upcoming consoles, the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X. Unfortunately, Ars Technica reports that "multiple sources" have already stated that E3 2020 stands cancelled, and a formal announcement is only a matter of time.

The reason for E3 2020 being cancelled is, as you would imagine, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The virus, which had its epicentre of infection in China, has since spread out to many parts of the world, with nations such as South Korea, Iran and Italy in particular threat. As part of health advisories issued by the world's leading medicine and healthcare bodies, many leading conferences are being cancelled to prevent the spread of coronavirus, beginning with MWC 2020. Once ESA makes a formal announcement, this will be the first time in its 25-year-long history that E3 will be cancelled. The gaming conference opened doors for the first time in 1996.

It remains to be seen how developers and publishers host their announcements, which would have otherwise been made under the E3 umbrella.

Indie game publisher Devolver Digital, which was scheduled to be present at E3, posted on Twitter asking attendees to cancel their E3 reservations, which comes as yet another proof of E3 2020 being officially cancelled. This year, E3 was expected to be abuzz with updates on the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X, alongside other announcements from the gaming world. However, with the conference now cancelled, it remains to be seen how developers and publishers host their announcements, which would have otherwise been made under the E3 umbrella.

The cancellation of MWC 2020 earlier this year saw brands opting for online launch events to make their announcements. However, the impact of the coronavirus outbreak also constricted supply chains and consumer demand, leading to a significant dip across multiple industries. With E3 2020 being at the centre of the gaming industry, it remains to be seen how the conference being cancelled ends up impacting the overall industry. ESA's official statement on the matter is expected to be published soon.