E3 2020 may be dead in the water, but the show will go on for Microsoft and Ubisoft through safer, virtual channels. Both companies have decided to replace their press conferences with digital events, which will presumably be hosted on their websites and livestreamed.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer tweeted about an “Xbox digital event” that should provide new details on the Xbox Series X and related developments, such as Microsoft’s game-streaming service, Project xCloud. Spencer says that he’ll have more details “in the coming weeks.”
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 https://t.co/xckMKBPf9h— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 11, 2020
Ubisoft also mentioned that it was “exploring other options for a digital experience.” The publisher didn’t have much to say aside from the fact that it fully supported the ESA’s decision to cancel E3 2020, but judging by recent rumors, the event should give us our first look at the next Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed games.
An update regarding E3 2020. pic.twitter.com/cThkDIkfVm— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) March 11, 2020
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier also revealed that Warner Bros. Games was planning to hold their first E3 press conference this year. They were supposed to announce new Batman and Harry Potter games, and whatever Rocksteady Studios (Arkham Trilogy) has been up to, but it isn’t clear whether they’re going the digital route, too.
More news from me: Warner Bros. Games was planning to do an E3 press conference this year for the first time, to talk about Batman, Harry Potter, and Rocksteady’s game among others. Remains to be seen what they’ll do now https://t.co/OIry5zgB6p— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 11, 2020
The Entertainment Software Association officially announced the cancellation of E3 2020 earlier today with the following message:
After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.
Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.
Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.
We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3expo.com.
We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.