Microsoft announced today that due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), all the upcoming Xbox events will be “digital first” until July 2021. This news might have confirmed that Xbox is skipping E3 2021. Last week, the ESA announced the schedule for the next E3, the event will take place on June 15, 2021.
The upcoming Ignite 2020, and MVP & RD Summit will be held as digital events on September 2020 and March 2021 respectively.
“In light of the challenges presented by Covid-19, we are adjusting our event calendar and strategy. For the remainder of 2020 we are embracing the opportunity to experiment with new platforms to provide our partners, customers and developers the highest quality, digital-first experiences.”
“This will include the future MVP & RD Summit which is currently scheduled for March 28 – April 2, 2021. We will continue to evaluate the situation and look forward to connecting in person when the situation allows.”
ZDNET reports that a Microsoft’s representative has told them, that in relation of the first half of 2021, the company will continue to evaluate the situation, but an announcement needed to be made at this moment. It is important to mention that Microsoft’s decision is directly related to the finances of the company, their “digital-first” approach is planned for Microsoft’s fiscal year 2020-2021.
This news lands another immense blow to the ESA, their management had already seen major departures from the expo this year, apparently bad news for E3 2021 started earlier. The once great event started to go downhill as of, 2019 saw the disinterest from Sony who skipped the event. E3 2020 saw a much more aggravated situation, and not only for the COVID-19. Prior the catastrophic events in USA, the ESA managed to lose Geoff Keighley, im8bit, the event’s host and creative directors respectively.
As I reported at the ESA announcement of their E3 re-imagination, the ESA are the first to be blamed for the downhill of the once cherished event. Their bad management has ruined what E3 represent. Leaks, celebrities and influencers, the ESA changed what E3 is supposed to be.
ESA’s vision for the E3 has been questioned, Sony Interactive Entertainment, indicates that ESA’s approach do not coincide with their marketing plan of 2020. Geoff Keighley also blames the organizers for his resignation, “I just don’t really feel comfortable participating given what I know about the show as of today.” The ESA planned E3 2020 to be more consumer friendly, and it would’ve been more like a fan festival, full of celebrities and influencers. That approach has changed what the event represents for most companies and fans. E3 2020 faced a bigger problem than the threat of COVID-19, the obstacle that couldn’t be overcame , the event was doomed before the chaotic disease reached USA, and the common cause of all of it’s problems is the ESA’s management.