E3, the biggest gaming event of the year, has been canceled due to concerns about the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a report from Ars Technica. The publication says multiple sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association, the group behind E3, have confirmed the cancellation. An official announcement will come shortly, with one originally scheduled for Tuesday, Ars Technica adds.
The ESA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prior to the report's publication, video game publisher Devolver Digital tweeted: "Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y'all." That stoked the already significant suspicion that E3 would follow the likes of Mobile World Congress 2020, the Game Developers Conference and Facebook's F8 conference in being canceled.
After previously saying it would go ahead with E3, the ESA on March 4 said it's "monitoring and evaluating the situation daily" due to Los Angeles declaring a state of emergency. E3, the show where the biggest gaming announcements of the year are made, had been scheduled to take place on June 9-11 in Los Angeles.
Despite Sony dropping out of the event in January, electing to give the upcoming PlayStation 5 the spotlight at another time and place, E3 was still poised to host key gaming companies from around the world. Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Sega, Capcom, Square Enix, Take-Two and Bandai Namco were among the companies scheduled to have a presence at the show.
Coronavirus deaths now top 3,200, with over 95,000 cases confirmed worldwide. It's not just events being canceled, as schools have closed in Japan and the whole country of Italy has gone into lockdown due to the virus.
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