When the ESA canceled E3 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, it issued a statement saying it was “exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.” The organization has now announced it won’t be doing that, instead focusing on promoting individual companies’ events.
“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 representative said in a statement to PC Gamer. “We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences.”
GameSpot contacted the ESA and received the same statement.
This means the ESA won’t be coordinating company events to take place under one umbrella, which suggests that we may not see them occurring within one week like a traditional E3 event. Individual companies have not yet announced their own digital event plans, so it’s unclear exactly when we’ll see showcases from publishers. Some may take place in June, though with this statement, they won’t necessarily have to.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced it is experimenting with digital-only events through the rest of 2020. The logistical challenges of remote work has forced some companies like Bethesda to scuttle their digital showcase plans altogether. The ESA is still planning for E3 to return in 2021.