The annual Electronics Entertainment Expo will once again be forgoing an in-person public space this year due to increasing safety concerns regarding the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
In a statement to GamesBeat, the Entertainment Software Association said that “due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022.” The ESA added that it will be announcing further details regarding E3 2022 in the near future, with no start date for the event announced yet.
E3, one of the largest gaming, entertainment, and electronics events of the year, has not held an in-person experience since 2019. E3 is normally held in the Los Angeles Convention Center for three days in June, though the surge of COVID-19 around the world has resulted in the ESA making major adjustments in how fans access the event. It was canceled in 2020 due to the initial spread of COVID-19, while the ESA opted for an online approach in 2021 as a way to bring developers and gamers together once more.
During E3 2021’s virtual event, developers held small conferences or submitted videos to panels of personalities that moderated the multi-day event. Despite the shift to online, developers continued to share teasers of their upcoming releases for all E3 viewers through official streams on Twitch and other designated platforms. They also worked together with platforms such as Steam to offer players small demos of games that fans would be experiencing on the show floor.
No information has been released regarding the start of E3 2022, though it’s expected to run for three days in the middle of June.