E3 2022 will be online-only, just like last year’s event
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short, has been one of the largest yearly events for video games in recent history. The initial rise of COVID-19 last year forced the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) to move E3 2021 to be online-only, and perhaps unsurprisingly, this year’s event will also be entirely online.
The Entertainment Software Association told VentureBeat in a statement, “due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022. We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.” The ESA didn’t explicitly say if it will host an online component, like last year, or if it will simply allow companies to handle their own plans. Much like CES, most of the significant announcements at E3 are usually broadcasted online (or announced in blog posts) by game publishers and developers.
The news comes after many other in-person events are being delayed or cancelled outright, following an enormous spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States and Europe, due to the newer ‘Omicron’ variant. Amazon, T-Mobile, Meta, Twitter, Pinterest, and other companies avoided showing up to this week’s CES 2022 event in-person, though the CES event went on as planned with the companies who didn’t cancel. The United States alone reported over one million cases of COVID-19 in a single day earlier this week.
The current spikes in COVID cases could be over by the usual summer timeline for E3, but now is around the time when companies reserve floor space and finalize show plans. The Entertainment Software Association also didn’t handle last year’s E3 all that well — a security breach on the organization’s website caused the personal information of over 2,000 attendees (including journalists) to become public. The leaked data included home addresses, phone numbers, names, and email addresses — which also happened in 2019.