Devolver Digital and other anonymous sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), have claimed that E3 2020 has been cancelled.
Tweeting from their official account, Devolver Digital stated “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.” The claim was later supported by Kotaku News Editor Jason Schreier, claiming he had heard similar information.
“Been hearing secondhand whispers tonight from several devs/pubs that E3 is cancelled,” Schreier tweeted. “Although I’ve also heard from a couple of people in positions to know that the ESA hasn’t officially made a decision yet and is still consulting with pubs. Either way, it’s only a matter of time”
Games Journalist Mike Futter also stated “My day started with investigating some E3 stuff. Ended with multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) sources coming my way. E3 cancelation announcement scheduled for tmw AM. I don’t think it will hold the night. Many of us have been engaged by sources this evening. Cancel your plans.”
Ars Technica reported that one source told them they had heard of E3’s cancellation “directly from ESA members,” and that an official statement “was supposed to be today [Tuesday, March 10] and slipped.”
If true, it is possible major publishers and developers would be told of any cancellation first, before general attendees and press. This would allow the ESA to handle the complaints of the two groups separately.
Earlier this month, creative production company iam8bit have announced they would not be involved with E3 2020. Earlier reports also announced that E3 2020 would be a “new and revitalized experience.”
This may also match claims from a leaked document, stating E3 would rebrand as a “Fan, Media, and Influencer Festival.” The document also proposed an industry-only day during the first day of the convention, which has come to pass (June 9th).
When asked on Twitter what fueled his decision not to participate, Keighley replied, “A ton of factors, I just don’t really feel comfortable participating given what I know about the show as of today.”
In addition, the coronavirus outbreak has put E3 going ahead under suspicion. Some suspect the supposed cancellation is due to the outbreak.
After it was announced that the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 would be postponed due to the outbreak (after many major publishers and developers pulled out), the ESA reassured the public that “everyone is watching the situation very closely,” but they were “moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning.”
The city of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus on March 4th. Nonetheless, the ESA announced they were “monitoring and evaluating the situation daily.”
No official statement of cancellation has been made at this time of writing. Until then, E3 2020 will run from June 9th to June 11th, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
UPDATE: Bloomberg reports that “the cancellation is planned to be announced at 9:30 am Los Angeles time on March 11 by the Entertainment Software Association, according to a person familiar with the matter.” We will keep you informed as we learn more.