E3, one of the biggest annual events in gaming, has officially been canceled because of concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.
“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry—our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners—we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9 to 11 in Los Angeles,” the ESA told GameSpot.
Ars Technica reported last night that E3 2020 was canceled. The event likely would’ve attracted thousands to see some of the world’s most popular game publishers unveil their new projects.
Despite the ESA claiming on March 2 that it was moving “full speed ahead” with E3, health officials have warned against holding events with large crowds due to fears that the events could exacerbate the oubtreak.
More than 66,000 people attended E3 last year, which was the lowest figure since 2016, according to IGN. In 2018, nearly 70,000 attended, making it one of the largest E3 events since the show began in 1995.
E3 is one of many gaming or esports events affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. League of Legends’ second-biggest international event, the Mid-Season Invitational, was pushed back in the yearly schedule to allow health officials more time to contain the virus, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives.
Other events have been postponed, outright canceled, or held without audiences. Publishers who had planned to reveal their games at E3 will have to change their plans now, too.