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ESA insists E3 2020 is going ahead despite host city Los Angeles declaring a state of emergency

E3 organisers the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) says it “continues to plan for a safe and successful” show later this year, but insists it is “actively assessing” the coronavirus outbreak.

“The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority,” the ESA said in a statement (thanks, Eurogamer). “While the ESA continues to plan for a safe and successful E3 show June 9-11, 2020 – we are monitoring and evaluating the situation daily.  

“Our E3 team and partners continue to monitor COVID-19 via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).  We are actively assessing the latest information and will continue to develop measures to further reduce health risks at the show.”

The statement went on to acknowledge that the city of Los Angeles – which, like San Francisco, has declared a state of emergency – will continue to prioritise “measures and guidelines that are focused on cleanliness and safety”.

“Again, please know that we will continue to evaluate new developments and provide updates, as needed,” the statement concluded.

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) was postponed indefinitely at the end of last week, and while attendees can expect a refund in full and those who had made hotel reservations via the organisation will be able to cancel without penalty, developers who’ve arranged their own accommodation might still be open to cancellation fees. A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC. 

E3 2020 has already been dated and will take place from June 9th to June 11th 2020, once again at the Los Angeles Convention Center. E3 2018 drew its biggest attendance in a decade after opening its doors to consumers, but while 200+ exhibitors showed off their latest games at E3 2019 – a figure broadly in line with previous years – the expo attracted 3,000 fewer visitors than it did last year, dropping to a little over 66,000 attendees. Sony has already confirmed it will not be attending E3 for the second successive year.

The Entertainment Software Association has since revealed plans to change E3’s format by rebranding as a “fan, media, and influencer festival” that will invite an additional 10,000 visitors to the show. 

Last year, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) unintentionally published the names, home addresses and phone numbers of more than 2,000 journalists who attended E3 2019. These details, which have now been removed, appeared in a spreadsheet that was hosted on E3’s website – and anyone with the link could access it and download it. It wasn’t only journalists whose details were leaked, but also “YouTube creators, Wall Street financial analysts at firms like Wedbush and Goldman Sachs, and Tencent employees”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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