The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) isn’t happening this year, but the major game publishers are turning disappointment into opportunity and planning digital-only events to replace the show.
E3 may not be the draw it used to be for gamers and the industry, but it’s still an important event for big announcements and getting gamers excited for future hardware and software releases. E3 2020 was going to be especially important for Microsoft as it increasingly turns its attention to the launch of Xbox Series X.
As GamesIndustry.biz reports, digital alternatives to E3 are already being planned. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, confirmed in a tweet yesterday that a digital event is planned instead, stating, “E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we’ll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks.”
Ubisoft also tweeted yesterday, confirming, “We’re exploring other options for a digital experience that will allow us to share all the exciting news we have planned, stay tuned for more!”
Of all the publishers, Nintendo will find it the easiest to adjust due to the company’s reliance on Nintendo Direct videos to showcase the latest games and hardware. Speaking to GameSpot, a Nintendo spokesperson explained, “We’ll continue to be flexible and redirect our efforts to other ways of keeping our fans up to date about our activities and products. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, large industry events may be untenable for the foreseeable future. But we are considering various ways to engage with our fans and will have more to share as the year continues.”
It looks as though June will remain a busy month for gaming announcements, but don’t write-off E3 completely just yet. Organizers the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) did confirm in its E3 cancellation statement that, “We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”