E3 video game conference cancelled over coronavirus fears

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video game industry’s biggest annual event, will reportedly be canceled because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Entertainment Software Association, the industry group that organizes the massive conference known as E3, is expected to announce the cancellation on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News.

The group told partners in a Tuesday memo that it is “exploring options for an online E3 event this summer,” according to Bloomberg. The cancellation was first reported by the tech publication Ars Technica.

The video-game label Devolver Digital hinted at the possibility that the event would be scrapped in an ominous Tuesday tweet: “Cancel your E3 flights and hotels, y’all,” the company wrote.

The convention — where game developers and console makers unveil their upcoming products — was slated to take place from June 9 to 11 in Los Angeles, which is under a health emergency because of the coronavirus outbreak. The software association said last week that it still planned to hold “a safe and successful E3 show,” but added that it was monitoring the virus.

The association did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.

E3 is just the latest large event to be canceled as the coronavirus has spread around the world.

Organizers of the Coachella music festival postponed this year’s shows to October on Tuesday, just days after the annual South by Southwest festival was canceled. The New York International Auto Show set for next month has been moved to late summer and the New York City Half Marathon has been canceled altogether.

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