E3 2020 isn't canceled yet, but coronavirus might change that

e3 2019
(Image credit: Martin Garcia/ESPAT Media/Getty)

UPDATE: The city of Los Angeles, where E3 2020 is held every year, has now declared a state of emergency around the coronavirus outbreak (via LA Times). The ESA's position, as detailed below, is currently unchanged, but we expect we may see more publishers and developers decide not to attend the event – which could have a knock-on effect on the status of the event itself.

Will there be an E3 2020? For now, it seems so, with event organizer ESA assuring attendees that the year's biggest gaming event in still going ahead.

Concerns have arisen over the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, and has led to various high-profile technology and entertainment events being cancelled or postponed – such as MWC 2020 (Mobile World Congress), or even GDC 2020 (Game Developer's Conference).

The ESA, which runs the annual E3 gaming event in Los Angeles every June, has had to quell fears of an E3 2020 cancellation, while not taking the idea off the table entirely – given how much could change in the coming months.

In a statement to Vice Games, the ESA wrote that, "Everyone is watching the situation very closely [...] We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees.

"Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June."

The show must go on

E3 2020 not going ahead is certainly a worst case scenario, but an increasingly likely one. We've already seen Xiaomi cancel a smartphone launch event, and Nvidia's GTC conference turned into an online event, while factory closures in China could lead to a massive impact on hardware sales worldwide.

Given the stories breaking around E3 2020 already – with Sony skipping out on the show, and E3 Coliseum host Geoff Keighley opting out for unclear reasons – a canceled event would be bad news for the show, given that digital and livestream announcements would naturally expand to fill the gaps.

We'll be keeping you updated if anything changes.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.