Coronavirus: Games fair E3 2020 is canceled

The game fair planned for June 9-11, 2020 in Los Angeles E3 2020 fails for fear of the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The organizer, the North American Entertainment Software Association (ESA), has officially announced this. There had already been speculation in the days before the cancellation.

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Unlike the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the E3 is not postponed, but actually canceled. The fair is now scheduled to take place again in 2021. The money paid by exhibitors and visitors should be fully reimbursed.

However, the organizers of the E3 are considering the possibility "Coordinate a coordinated online experience to present industry announcements and news in June 2020."

The aim is probably to ensure that the large press conferences of publishers such as Microsoft, Square Enix, Ubisoft and Nintendo, which have been held live and now possibly online in recent years, do not all take place at the same time.

Sony with the Playstation 5 is the least affected by the cancellation: The group had already canceled participation in E3 2020 regardless of the threat posed by the corona virus. Sony had not participated in the fair in 2019.

The E3 had some difficulties before. The event is actually an industry fair to which access is only available to members of the gaming industry and the media. However, in the past few years there had been a somewhat half-hearted attempt to allow a small number of players – with tickets that were sometimes very expensive.

However, this concept was not well received by the exhibitors. Many large publishers wanted either lower costs, more visitors, or a strong focus on influencers. According to rumors, the latter should be tried for the first time in 2020. The plans have not yet been presented in concrete terms, now they have been done for now.

Incidentally, the question should now arise what happens to Gamescom. The public fair is to take place in Cologne at the end of August 2020. The big publishers should now have to make a decision whether to participate or not – simply because the preparations are very time-consuming. According to the organizer Koelnmesse, preparations are currently underway "on schedule for the specified date".

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