Today the E3 website made the announcement that the expo, which was scheduled for the week of June 9th, will be cancelled due to concerns over the possible spread of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus. This announcement comes on the heels of a string of cancellations of large national public events such as the Cochella music festival, and the South By Southwest (SXSW) film festival.
The announcement continues that the expo will try to work with members to coordinate a streaming showcase for sometime in June for industry announcements.
For the E3 Expo this is especially damaging as the event has been struggling to maintain interest as more major developers have been making the decision to skip E3 in favor of holding their own streaming presentations following the trend Nintendo started with their ‘Nintendo Direct’ model.
In January Sony announced that for the second year in a row they would be skipping E3 citing that the focus of the show didn’t match what they were planning. This is especially devastating because Sony is planning on revealing their PlayStation 5 sometime this year.
There are many that feel that this cancellation marks the final nail in the coffin for an expo that has been unable to evolve successfully as the industry has evolved. It remains to be seen if this cancellation will turn out to be catalyst that forces an effective change in the way the event is handled.