The Electronics Entertainment Expo or E3 has been one of the largest yearly events for gamers in the recent times. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s event was held virtually and this year will be no different. With COVID-19 cases seeing a surge across the world in the starting days of 2022, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has moved the event to be an online-only gathering. The organisation told VentureBeat in a statement that E3 will not be held in-person due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees.
Now, it is not clear if ESA will host an online component like last year, or if it will allow brands to handle their own plans. Much like CES, most of the significant announcements at E3 are usually online via blog posts by game developers and brands themselves. This comes at a time when many in-person events have been cancelled due to the risks posed by the Omicron variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
E3 is said to be held during the summer. There are chances that the COVID-19 cases may ease by the summer, but this is the time when companies reserve floor space and finalise their show plans.
Last year’s virtual E3 also faced a huge blunder as a security breach on the organisation’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 of people who attended the virtual event.
Currently, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 is going on in-person at Las Vegas, United States. Ahead of CES, which was planned last year, several brands including Amazon, Google, Meta, Twitter, and more cancelled their plans for an in-person showcase due to the rising COVID-19 cases globally.