COVID-19 did in E3 2020, but the ESA is not ready to throw in the towel just yet for good. They have announced plans that E3 2021 is in the works.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, the ESA shared news with its partners that E3 2021 June 15 to 17. Even though no live event will be held this year, the ESA are “exploring options with [their] members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
So life goes on for E3, in some capacity or another. Either way, if an E3 2021 does take place, there should be plenty of games to showcase on fancy new consoles.
COVID-19 (aka the Coronavirus) has officially finished of E3 2020.
The ESA made it official on Wednesday, March 11, 2020:
“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry…we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020… Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.” ESA
Phil Spencer, Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, chimed in via Twitter. Spencer assures that even though there will be no conference, fans can expect future announcements via digital events.
Microsoft was one of only a few remaining large companies still planning to attend E3 2020.
Sony, Geoff Keighley, Valve, Activision Blizzard, already announced that they are not attending this year’s E3.
This may very well be the end of E3 for good. Given the high profile pull-outs, the conference no longer has the same influence it once did. Now, we will have a year without E3 due to COVID-19. If things turn out okay, this may very well prove that E3 is no longer needed.
Microsoft and Sony are both releasing new consoles this year. One would think that means both are going to go head to in at E3 2020. Well, you would be wrong. Sony, for the second year in a row, is passing on E3.
Sony confirmed with GameIndustry.biz that E3 is simply not their jam.
“After thorough evaluation SIE has decided not to participate in E3 2020… We have great respect for the ESA as an organization, but we do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.
“We will build upon our global events strategy in 2020 by participating in hundreds of consumer events across the globe. Our focus is on making sure fans feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content. We have a fantastic line up of titles coming to PlayStation 4, and with the upcoming launch of PlayStation 5, we are truly looking forward to a year of celebration with our fans.”GamesIndustry.biz
Following this news, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer took to Twitter, to confirm that Microsoft is still attending.
The ESA, which organizes E3, posted their tepid response to Sony’s announcement on their website.
“E3 is a signature event celebrating the video game industry and showcasing the people, brands and innovations redefining entertainment loved by billions of people around the world. E3 2020 will be an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike. Exhibitor interest in our new activations is gaining the attention of brands that view E3 as a key opportunity to connect with video game fans worldwide.”TheESA.com
E3 has been on a slow decline for years as the annual gaming trade show simply does not have the same allure to the big gaming companies. The big publishers and console makers have been dropping the show in favor of their own events for years.