E3 2022 Will Be Online-Only Again Due To Pandemic
COVID-19 is still causing problems.
E3 2022 was expected to be the first time since 2019 that the event was held in person, as the COVID-19 pandemic--and its several variants since--had made it unsafe for such a large gathering to take place over the past two years. Now, that's not happening either, as the ESA has decided to shift E3 to an online-only format again this year.
Speaking to GamesBeat, the ESA said the decision was made because of the virus and its "potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees." The organization later gave us the full statement, which you can read below:
"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."
It's been an ongoing concern for many organizations planning in-person gatherings, which initially looked to be feasible as vaccines were rolled out last year before infection rates began climbing again. With new variants often being more contagious than the initial one we saw in 2020, these gatherings could be serious health hazards.
Last year's E3 was fairly scattershot, consisting of independent press conferences from a few different publishers, a week of livestreamed content, and a web portal that offered very little. Prior to the cancellations, major publishers like EA and Sony had already stopped participating, making it unclear what form, if any, E3 is going to take in the coming years.