E3 is the latest major event to be canceled in the wake of the new coronavirus, according to reports. Ars Technica and Bloomberg say that the Entertainment Software Association, which puts on the annual video game trade show, will soon announce the cancelation. One source told Bloomberg that the ESA will make the announcement at 12.30PM ET today.
Publisher Devolver Digital, which is known for its chaotic live press conferences at E3, had already presaged the news with an ominous tweet:
Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) March 11, 2020
The news comes after a significant number of gaming and tech events have been similarly canceled or postponed. That includes the Game Developers Conference, Facebook’s F8, Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference, Google I/O 2020, SXSW in Austin, and more, while companies like Twitter have urged employees to work from home.
E3 is historically one of the biggest weeks of the year for video game announcements, and this year’s was primed to be particularly important with the upcoming launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
However, even before the cancellation, several major players had pulled out of the event. Most notable is Sony, which was skipping E3 for the second year in a row, while Geoff Keighley, who has hosted popular E3 live-stream events in recent years, was also not going to participate. “I look forward to supporting the industry in other ways and at other events in the future,” Keighley said in a statement. Later, the group iam8bit announced that it was pulling out its creative director role as well.