Update: In a statement sent to PC Gamer, the ESA has confirmed that plans for online E3 2020 event have been cancelled. "Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June. Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements including on www.e3expo.com in the coming months," a spokesperson said.
Original Article: Remember when Sony announced that it would not be attending E3 a couple of years ago and everyone acted like the platform holder had lost its collective mind? Seems the Japanese giant was ahead of the curve yet again, because the show’s implosion has been both dramatic and difficult to watch. This year’s convention was shaping up to be a disaster before coronavirus spared its blushes, and while 2021’s showcase has already been dated, rumours are swirling that organiser ESA’s alternative online event scheduled for this summer has been scrapped.
According to journalist Mike Futter, speaking as part of the Virtual Economy Podcast, the ESA made a last-ditch effort to try and woo publishers for some kind of broadcast-based E3-esque showcase. They all politely declined. According to a presentation slide, production partners touted included both IGN and, er, Good Morning America. Really.
Perhaps most interesting of all is that IGN recently announced its own summer-based showcase, suggesting perhaps that the website declined the ESA’s invitation and decided to go it alone. While it seems E3 will return next year, we really do think you’re witnessing the beginning of the end here. Publishers will use this year’s cancellation to do their own thing, and getting them back into the E3 fold will be difficult to say the least.