E3 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak

(Image credit: ESA)

E3, the highest-profile consumer-focused videogame show in North America, has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. 

The ESA held out longer than GDC and other events because it doesn't take place until later in the year, and organizers had hoped that the June scheduling would be far enough down the road for the worst of the crisis to have passed. But the show took a big bump in March, when Los Angeles, where E3 is held, declared a state of emergency

"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," the ESA said in a statement to Gamespot. "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."

Concerns about the coronavirus come on top of growing questions about E3's relevance overall: Industry veteran Geoff Keighley, the creator and host of E3 Coliseum, announced in February that he wouldn't be attending the show, and production company iam8bit, which announced in January that it was working with the ESA to "reinvigorate" E3, has also withdrawn its services.

The ESA said that it would make contact with exhibitors and attendees about providing full refunds, and in lieu of E3 it is now "exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020."

E3 is the third major North American game show to be halted due to coronavirus concerns: The Game Developers Conference was also "postponed" for the same reason in February, while SXSW, which features a big Gaming Expo every year, was cancelled in March. 

You can follow our coverage of all industry-related coronavirus updates here. For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.