E3 2020 Would Have Started Today

The annual conference is usually a highlight of the gaming calendar, but 2020 had other ideas.

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If you can't help but notice an eerie absence in the video game landscape, that's because June 9 officially marks an E3-shaped hole today. The annual conference is often a highlight of the video game calendar, chock full of announcements, interviews, and hands-on impressions. But as we're all aware, 2020 has thrown a few curveballs.

The conference was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, amid a spate of other event cancellations due to restrictions on public gatherings. The ESA suggested it was looking into digital options, but ultimately scrapped that idea and left publishers to schedule their own individual announcements. The organization says that E3 will go on, though, and has already started talking about E3 2021. If it follows tradition, the ESA will announce next year's dates this Thursday, June 11--but that may not happen due to general uncertainty about the virus.

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Even if not for the pandemic, though, it would be a challenging time to hold a big video game celebration. The death of George Floyd and widespread, ongoing protests over racial justice have been in the public spotlight recently. Many publishers that had planned events or announcements last week stepped aside to show solidarity with the protests. The raucous energy of the E3 show floor and flashy press conferences would likely feel insensitive in light of the current climate.

GameSpot encourages its readers to donate to Black Lives Matter and other charitable efforts to promote racial justice. We're currently hosting Play For All, a summer gaming event with proceeds going to both coronavirus relief and Black Lives Matter.

Some of the video game events that were canceled are now starting to be rescheduled. Sony's big PlayStation 5 debut will take place on June 11, and EA Play has been scheduled for June 18. Check out our full list of E3 replacement events for more details.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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