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Digital E3 2020 show cancelled, ESA has no plans to host online event

Plans for an all-digital E3 2020 event have been scrapped, sources say.

Published Sat, Apr 4 2020 6:08 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:44 AM CST

UPDATE: The ESA official confirms it won't be holding an online event for E3 2020.

"Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June. Instead we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on www.E3expo.com, in the coming months," the ESA tells Gamespot.

The ESA won't be streaming an online-based digital E3 2020 event this year, sources tell games journalist Mike Futter.

Digital E3 2020 show cancelled, ESA has no plans to host online event 47 | TweakTown.com

E3 2020's physical show has been cancelled due to coronavirus, prompting the ESA to explore digital options. But plans for a digital E3 2020 showcase have fallen through. In lieu of E3 2020, publishers and developers will team up with IGN for the Summer of Games event in June, an all-digital broadcast full of reveals, hands-on gaming, and interviews. Other games-makers like EA, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are expected to host their own exclusive direct livestreams.

At one point the ESA had been shopping around pitch ideas to various influencers, showrunners, and teams. A slide from a leaked internal ESA presentation shows possible partners, including Good Morning America, experienced show host Andrea Rene, and simply hosting a show on Twitch or Mixer.

IGN was also a major candidate, which is ironic considering many publishers like Square Enix, Bandai Namco, and Take-Two Interactive ultimately chose IGN for their E3 2020 replacement show.

Depending on how well IGN's digital event goes, this could be a killing blow for E3 as a whole. The ESA is among some of the top games industry players that have yet to adapt and evolve towards digital and instead try to court gamers with on-site events, which admittedly have a place in the industry, but not at the expense of convenient and informative digital showcases.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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