The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced Thursday that it had canceled this year’s E3 in-person event due to “health risks surrounding” the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Additionally, entertainment news source IGN confirmed to ESA on the same day that the trade association does not yet have plans for a digital / virtual event for E3.
IGN also reported that it had confirmed from several “E3-related” sources that ESA had already made the decision not to host an in-person event “maybe as far away” as it was. fall 2021. The news site also confirmed with industry sources that companies have yet to hear of plans for an E3 event, be it physical or digital, although such plans would. generally been revealed at this point in previous years. According to IGN, the Los Angeles Convention Center never listed E3 2022 on its show schedule, although shows from previous years were already on the convention center schedule more than a year in advance.
ESA hosted last year’s E3 as a “reinvented” virtual event in June 2021, having canceled its in-person event in February earlier that year. ESA canceled the E3 2020 physical event and did not host an online event that year.
The Los Angeles Convention Center also hosts Anime show, usually less than a month after E3. Anime show previously announced last year that it will return as a physical in-person event July 1-4 this year, but will require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test performed 72 hours before attending the event.
Sources: VentureBeat (Dean Takahashi) via Siliconera, IGN (Rebekah Valentine)