E3 2020 would, normally, be just three months away. But these are not normal times, and this year you won't be missing a thing by staying home to watch online. In March, the ESA cancelled E3 for the year due to concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Although the convention can't take place, companies are planning livestreams, videos, and other online alternatives to get their big announcements out to the public this year even without big stages to do it on.
It won't be quite the same without wholesome and cringey on-stage adlibing or the opportunities for someone to shout "you're breathtaking!" at some celebrity cameo. Still, companies plan year-round for the slew of announcements that happen in June and you can bet they won't let the marketing machine grind entirely to a halt. It will just be switching gears.
For some companies, this isn't even a disruption to their plans. Sony already pulled its E3 press conference in 2019, opting for a video presentation in the style of Nintendo Direct streams. EA has also previously opted for a day of livestreaming instead of a traditional press conference.
Below you'll find the dates and times for every fully-online E3 experience we know about so far, and where to watch them. Expect updates as we close in on June and the coronavirus situation continues to evolve.
PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming Show will go on! We'll be able to share our 2020 plans in the coming weeks.
In past years, Bethesda has held down a pre-E3 in-person presentation with music, videos, and Todd Howard's bomber jacket. It hasn't yet said what this year's presentation will look like post-cancellation but we do know a bit about what it had been planning to talk about.
Bethesda has already mentioned its intention to give players more information on Ghostwire: Tokyo, a spooky thriller which we've heard almost nothing of since its announcement trailer at E3 2019. It's also planning to share more about Deathloop, the first-person action game about the endless battle between two assassins. Fallout 76: Wastelanders will have been out for a couple months by typical E3 time as well. We're sure to get some insight on how Bethesda is thinking about the online Fallout's future after such a big, game-changing update.
Beyond that, will we finally see more of Starfield? Bethesda's entirely new space-faring RPG has been kept largely under wraps so far. Same goes for The Elder Scrolls 6, which we are—at Todd's direction—being very, very patient for.
Microsoft has also announced plans to pivot its planned announcements into a digital space, though we don't know exactly what form it will take.
There will be plenty of talk about the next Xbox console, but surely Microsoft will save time to talk about games as well. By June, we may well have Halo 2 Anniversary in our hands, but that will still leave two Halo games left in the Master Chief Collection to release before the end of 2020. We can definitely expect to hear something about Halo 3 and 4. Microsoft Flight Simulator is also planned for 2020 and though it's looking quite impressive already, we could see more of it this summer. Sea of Thieves continues to get regular content updates as well, so perhaps Microsoft will give us a look at some longer term plans for the slapstick swashbuckler. And did someone say Fable 4?
Ubisoft hasn't announced yet what its plans are but has said it's looking into ways to share all its planned announcements online in a "digital experience."
We already know that Ubisoft has five "triple-A" games coming within the next year, which is quite a lineup. We know three of them are Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Gods and Monsters. The last two, we're left to guess on. One could be the rumored Norse-themed Assassin's Creed game. The last is definitely not Beyond Good & Evil 2, unfortunately. Maybe that Avatar game that Massive Entertainment is reportedly still working on? Probably not, but it would be quite a surprise.
We don't know Square Enix's plans in the wake of E3's cancellation but they're sure to have something to share. The first installment of the Final Fantasy 7 remake will be out on PS4 by the time E3 would normally happen. Maybe we'll get Square Enix's official stamp on the PC port and a date we can expect it by. Perhaps they'll even share when to expect the next part of the remake? (Haha.) Presumably Square Enix will also be gearing up for the release of Marvel's Avengers, so we may see some final-looking gameplay for the superhero adventure.
Although EA usually hosts its pre-E3 event EA Play in person, it is looking for ways to go online this year. It hasn't yet announced when and how they'll be presenting 2020's announcements to players, but we can take a guess at what will be in the lineup.
It's EA, so there's sure to be talk about its yearly sports titles. When it comes to ongoing games, it seems likely that we'll get some talk about Apex Legends and how EA sees Respawn's seasonal format carrying into the future. There's Anthem as well, which has had quite a rough time but BioWare has committed to reinventing. Oh, and what about that Star Wars: Project Maverick leak?
Consciously odd indie game publisher Devolver Digital is no stranger to pre-recorded press conferences either. You'll know the publisher for the wild meta-stories of its past E3 announcements. Shortly after the news of E3's cancellation, Devolver tweeted that it's "bummed" but is planning "a livestream Devolver Direct / press conference and possibly more." We don't know yet what they're planning to show off, but you can always expect Devolver to have something strange up its sleeve.
Bad luck for Warner Bros. Apparently the studio was planning to host its first E3 press conference in 2020. We don't know what the Bros are planning now, but it would be surprising if the studio doesn't find a way to share plans online. Apparently it was planning to announce two games this year: a Harry Potter game and Batman game. More than likely we'll still find out what those are in some fashion.
We don't cover Nintendo Switch games around here but we sure do like playing them after work. We've got the Nintendo Direct details here so that you don't have to go looking for them elsewhere. If nothing else, the increasing number of games with crossplay between PC and Switch players, along with recent cloud save compatibility between Steam and Switch for certain games, means we could get some hardware-y news about how your Switch and gaming PC will continue living happily ever after together.