The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the latest major event to be cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a report from Ars Technica.
The three-day convention is the world’s biggest annual gaming event.
Game publishers and other major industry players often use E3 as a platform to showcase upcoming games or to reveal new titles. Over 66,000 people attended the event in 2019.
As in previous years, E3 was set to take place in June at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Ars Technica said multiple sources familiar with the event’s plans told them it was set to be cancelled.
One source claimed that the official public statement was due to be released on Tuesday, but that it had “slipped.”
Cost of cancellations
The announcement follows the postponement of another big event on the gaming calendar – The Gaming Developer Conference (GDC).
GDC was scheduled to take place in March, with around 30,000 people in attendance.
A number of other major tech events have either been cancelled or moved online due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.
This includes GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), Google I/O, Facebook’s F8 event, SXSW, and IBM’s Think conference.
Recode reported that the combined losses from these events run over $1 billion. MWC was set to be attended by around 100,000 people and its cancellation alone cost $480 million.
These numbers don’t account for the revenue that would have been generated by the organisers of the event, but only factors in losses to airlines, accommodation, food, and transportation services.
Oxford Economics estimated that business conferences generate over $1 trillion in direct spending each year.