The ESA Have Confirmed That E3 2020 Will Not Be Held Online

The ESA Have Confirmed That E3 2020 Will Not Be Held Online
Credit: ESA

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge amount of cancelations in the gaming world, but few were as stunning as the cancelation of E3 2020. It’s organizers, the ESA, originally declared that there wouldn’t be a cancelation or postponement and that they were actually quite excited to see how the event would turn out due to how great the ticket sales had been.

Unfortunately, as you’ve undoubtedly heard, they ended up having to swallow their words and cancel the event regardless after multiple publishers pulled out of their own volition. Even if that hadn’t happened, local governments weren’t about to allow a dense gathering of that many people, so E3 2020 had to be taken away.

Originally, the organizers declared that they would hold a replacement online to fill in the gaps. This seemed like the natural choice, and something multiple other organizations had done. GDC 2020 chose to place the majority of their talks online, for example, and held the Independent Games Festival online as well, rewarding the winners in an online format. There was even a good amount of fundraising that came out of it!

But it seems that the organizers behind E3 2020 have decided not to do such a thing. Though they had originally announced that they would hold an online format version of the massive event, the ESA announced on April 7th that they would no longer be seeking out ways to do such an event.

That doesn’t mean the ESA is walking away and dusting their hands off, calling the job done, though. Instead, the organizers intend to help showcase the company announcements of individual developers and companies. That is to say – E3 2020 will now be about highlighting individual companies that decided to hold their own events, but E3 won’t be doing anything for companies that decided to avoid doing anything online as well.

“Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June,” the ESA announced. “Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on, in the coming months. We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences.”

It’s definitely a bit of a bummer to hear that E3 won’t be holding an online format – two E3 cancelations in one year will definitely bring you down – but it isn’t surprising. With so many companies bringing their announcements to their own platforms, it’s understandable that the ESA would place their attention elsewhere.