The E3 2020 Gaming Conference Is Cancelled And You Of Course Know The Reason Why

E3 Building
In a matter of hours (if not already by the time you read this), the Entertainment Software Associate (ESA) will announce its decision to cancel this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), according to multiple reports. The gaming convention is the latest major event to be cancelled presumably due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) was cancelled for the same reason last month, and NVIDIA recently decided to shift its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) to an online-only event. E3 is the next major gathering to follow suit—it is the largest event covering hardware and software in the gaming sector, though it has seen some major publishers pull out in recent years (such as Electronic Arts).

As of this writing, there is no formal announcement by the ESA. However, E3's website does host a special section titled "Covid-19 Update" that hints at a change in plans.

"The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority. While the ESA continues to plan for a safe and successful E3 show June 9-11, 2020—we are monitoring and evaluating the situation daily. Our E3 team and partners continue to monitor Covid-19 via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are actively assessing the latest information and will continue to develop measures to further reduce health risks at the show," E3's website states.

Citing a source who is familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports the ESA is planning to announce E3's cancellation today at 9:30am PT (12:30pm ET). The source also indicated that the ESA sent out a private memo indicating it is "exploring options for an online E3 event this summer." In addition, indie development studio Devolver Digital hinted at this eventuality, stating on Twitter to "cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y'all."

Anticipation for this year's E3 event has been particularly high, in hopes of learning more about Microsoft's Xbox Series X. Sony had already decided not to attend E3 2020, skipping it for the second year in a row, and instead focus on "participating in hundreds of consumer events around the globe" in the lead-up to its PlayStation 5 launch.

Covid-19, or coronavirus disease 2019, is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was first detected in China and has now been confirmed in more than 100 locations internationally, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The full scope of the current coronavirus outbreak is still being evaluated. Over 4,300 people have died so far as a result of the coronavirus.