E3 switches to online event only due to Omicron issues

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The Entertainment Software Association is turning the Electronic Entertainment Expo into an online event purely because of concerns over the pandemic.

“Due to the current health risks associated with COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not take place in person in 2022,” ESA said in a statement to GamesBeat . “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

This means the show will likely take place online this summer for the second year in a row, as concerns over COVID-19 pushed the June 2021 show to become an online-only event and completely scuttled the 2020 event. When asked to clarify if there would be an online event, ESA said it was “excited about the possibilities of an online event”.

ESA, a trade group led by publishers in the gaming industry, is obviously cautious due to the huge explosion of coronavirus infections caused by the Omicron variant. The CES 2022 tech show – taking place in Las Vegas this week – has drawn widespread criticism for continuing its in-person event despite the risks of being a “superspreader” event.

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While E3 is still months away and the current peak may be over by then, the organization is in the process of recruiting companies to take up exhibition space as it often takes companies months. to assemble their booths for the big show, which normally draws over 50,000 industry people and 15,000 in-person fans to the Los Angeles Convention Center each June.

Meanwhile, the Game Developers Conference is scheduled in person from March 21-25. In an email, GDC said it plans to move forward at that time.

Updated: 1/6/22 12:56 PM PT: Updated with the amended statement.

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