E3 2020

The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2020 (E3 2020) was to be the 26th Electronic Entertainment Expo, during which hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers from the video game industry present new and upcoming products to the attendees, primarily retailers and members of the video game press. The event, organized by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), was to take place in Los Angeles, California, from June 9–11, 2020, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. However, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the ESA announced it would not hold the physical event though would be looking at ways to hold virtual elements for the event during the same week.

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2020
BeginsJune 9, 2020 (planned)
EndsJune 11, 2020 (planned)
VenueLos Angeles Convention Center
Location(s)Los Angeles, California
CountryUnited States
Previous eventE3 2019
Organized byEntertainment Software Association
Filing statusNon-profit

Format and changesEdit

In the days prior to the event, major hardware and software vendors were to host press conferences at nearby venues, where they would introduce new hardware and games that would be on display at the exhibitor's hall during the actual event. Within the event period, attendees would have been able to view these products at the exhibitor's hall, often including playable game demos, attended special presentations offered by companies, and in some cases, had private meetings with companies on their products. The E3 period is often used by journalists from video game publications as well as social media influencers to provide initial comments on these new games. This also enables retailers to plan out what products to purchase for the remainder of the year, particularly for critical Christmas and holiday sales periods.

E3 2020 was due to continue to offer public passes to the event, though the number offered was increased to 25,000 from 15,000 from the prior E3 event.[1]

The ESA stated that they planned to revise the format for E3 2020 to feature more interactivity for attendees as to reflect the changing audience for the show, and looking to make it a "fan, media and influencer festival".[2][1] ESA stated the event would be "an exciting, high-energy show featuring new experiences, partners, exhibitor spaces, activations, and programming that will entertain new and veteran attendees alike".[3] ESA president Stanley Pierre-Louis said they were inspired by the Keanu Reeves moment from E3 2019 as the type of event they can't plan for but thrive on, and wanted to create more opportunities for similar events in the future. Part of this would have been achieved by bringing more "celebrity gamers" to various facets of the exposition.[4] Among ESA's creative partners had included iam8bit as creative directors.[5] However, in early March 2020, iam8bit announced they had pulled out as creative directors for the show.[6]

Sony Interactive Entertainment, who had presented at every E3 until E3 2019, stated they would not attend E3 in 2020 for a second year in a row, as the new vision of the show did not meet their goals, and instead they will present at a number of smaller events throughout the year.[7] Microsoft's Xbox division had affirmed they would attend the show, where it was expected that more details of the 4th generation of the Xbox consoles, including the Xbox Series X with release planned in late 2020, would be announced.[8]

Geoff Keighley, who had organized and hosted the E3 Coliseum, a live-streamed event over the course of E3 with interviews with developers and publishers, since E3 2017, said that he had decided not to participate this year nor be a part of E3, the first time in 25 years.[9] Pierre-Louis stated that they had still planned to have digital programming like E3 Coliseum.[4]

Cancellation due to coronavirus pandemicEdit

In wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the state of emergency declared by Los Angeles County in early March 2020, ESA stated then that they were assessing the situation but at the time were still planning on going ahead with the event.[10] The ESA formally announced they had officially cancelled the physical event on March 11, 2020, stating "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."[11] In addition to providing full refunds for participants, the ESA was looking into options for virtual presentations for exhibitors to use during the planned week as an alternative event.[11]

Alternative eventsEdit


Microsoft announced after the cancellation of E3 2020 that it will host an Xbox digital event to cover information it had planned to provide at E3 including games and details on the fourth generation of Xbox consoles it plans to launch in 2020.[12]


Ubisoft announced after the cancellation of E3 2020 that it will 'explore other options for a digital experience' to share the announcements it had planned.[13]

Devolver DigitalEdit

Devolver Digital, which had already planned to run a streamed event at E3, announced they still plan to hold their event at some point.[14]

Limited Run GamesEdit

Limited Run Games has announced it will hold an online presentation on June 8, 2020 at 3 p.m. PT for its upcoming titles.[15]

PC Gaming ShowEdit

PC Gamer, which has organized the PC Gaming Show for games aimed for personal computers at past E3 events, stated they would be looking for similar virtual options in lieu of an E3 presentation as Microsoft and Ubisoft.[16]


  1. ^ a b Futter, Mike (September 16, 2019). "E3 2020 planning document proposes overhaul with 'queuetainment,' new floor plan, industry-only day". GameDaily.biz. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  2. ^ Ivan, Tom (January 30, 2020). "ESA plans 'to shake things up' for E3 2020". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Moyse, Chris (January 14, 2020). "ESA statement promises 'new experiences and activations' in response to Sony no-show". Destructoid. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  4. ^ a b McCarthy, Caty (February 13, 2020). "The President of The ESA On The Waning of Big Names at E3, Winning Back Media's Trust, and More". USGamer. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Lada, Jenni (January 30, 2020). "E3 2020 Will Include an iam8bit Collaboration and Supposedly Stronger Security Measures". Siliconera. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  6. ^ McAloon, Alissa (March 5, 2020). "E3 loses creative directors iam8bit months before show". Gamasutra. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Dring, Christopher (January 13, 2020). "PlayStation will not participate in E3 2020". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (January 13, 2020). "Phil Spencer Confirms Xbox Will Be at E3 2020". IGN. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Shanley, Patrick (February 12, 2020). "Geoff Keighley to Skip E3 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 4, 2020). "E3 Organizers 'Actively Assessing' Coronavirus Outbreak, Still Planning to Hold June Event in L.A." Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (March 11, 2020). "E3 2020 Canceled After 'Overwhelming Concerns' About Coronavirus". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  12. ^ Saed, Sherif (March 11, 2020). "Now that E3 2020 is cancelled, Xbox will host its own digital event". VG247. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  13. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (2020-03-11). "Microsoft, Ubisoft announce plans for digital events after E3 2020 cancellation". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  14. ^ Winslow, Jeremy (March 11, 2020). "Devolver Digital Teases Direct-Style E3 2020 Press Conference". GameSpot. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  15. ^ Ivan, Tom (March 12, 2020). "Devolver Digital and Limited Run Games planning digital E3 events". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Lahti, Evan (March 11, 2020). "An update on this year's PC Gaming Show". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 11, 2020.