The Electronic Entertainment Expo is facing a lot of problems, right now the event is in a serious crisis reaching its lowest point. Yesterday im8bit resigned at the task to be the Creative Directors for the E3, there is also a major health crisis in the city of Los Angeles due to new cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The city of Los Angeles, which has declared a state of emergency which can force the cancellation of the event.
It’s with mixed emotions that @iam8bit has decided to resign as Creative Directors of what was to be an evolutionary #E32020 floor experience. We’ve produced hundreds of gaming + community events and it was a dream to be involved with E3. We wish the organizers the best of luck.
— iam8bit (@iam8bit) March 5, 2020
The E3 website has released an update regarding the COVID-19, in which, they confirm that ESA is still going host the event as it was planned on June 9 but they suggest that a cancellation of the event might happen depending on how events develop.
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 Organization (WHO). We are actively assessing the latest information and will continue to develop measures to further reduce health risks at the show.
Again, please know that we will continue to evaluate new developments and provide updates, as needed.
ESA the organizers of the E3 is facing two major problems, the most evident is the global health emergency, the other is the importance of the event for developers. It’s still uncertain if im8bit resigned due to COVID-19 or if they don’t agree with ESA with the current direction of the E3. Back in February 12, Geoff Keighley declined to host E3 due to “ton of of factors”.
I just don’t really feel comfortable participating given what I know about the show as of today.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreir analyze how COVID-19 might be the last nail in the coffin for the E3, he says that publishers might realize that they don’t need E3 and that hosting their own digital events might prove to be a better option for all.
If E3 2020 is cancelled and the video game publishers wind up doing digital events instead, I expect most of them to look at how little they lose by not being there (and how much money they save) and follow Sony's lead in ditching E3 permanently. Big existential moment here https://t.co/qSBgobOhGJ
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 4, 2020
There is also a privacy issue in the ESA’s organization, last year information from all attending journalist was leaked online, and this year something similar happened, this time it was leaked the information of assisting companies, this is a problem for some companies who at that moment haven’t confirmed their assistance and it doesn’t help the image of the E3 following a catastrophic leak that annoyed all attending journalist.
E3 has also been blamed to have a sort of identity crisis, with the event being more focused around celebrities and influencers, it has been reported that E3 is planned more as a fan festival rather than focusing on creating a scenario where developers showcase their latest creations.