In what must be one of the most inevitable news beats in some time, reports are now coming in that The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) intends to cancels this year's E3 event, adding to an ever-increasing list of industry gatherings shutting down over concerns raised by COVID-19, better known as coronavirus.
Irreverent publisher Devolver Digital were one of the first to spark the rumour, with an ominous tweet suggesting that all attendees should cancel their flights and hotels. This was followed by an article on news site Bloomberg, who are reporting that The ESA will be making an announcement at 09:30 PT today, in which it is expected to officially cancel E3 2020.
While The ESA has been quite dogged in its assertions that the Los Angeles-based gaming expo would still be taking place this June, the writing has been on the wall for some time. Multiple events within the gaming industry have been cancelled, altered, or postponed in recent weeks, with many publishers choosing not to make an appearance at the few events that are still on the calendar. The possibility of E3, which hosted almost 70,000 attendees last year, going ahead business-as-usual seemed unlikely at best and even irresponsible at worst.
In related news, Kyoto-based indie gaming convention BitSummit announced that it will also no longer be taking place in this summer. The organisers have released a statement on Twitter in which the team apologises for the cancellation but notes that it will continue building plans for its next event.
We will, of course, update you should we receive official word of E3's cancellation from The ESA.
E3 games show slated for June called off over virus fears [Bloomberg]