Update: While E3 confirmed that they have cancelled in-person events, we still have no word on digital events. As such, we don’t yet know whether E3 2022 may be canceled entirely.
For those excited to attend this year’s E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles this summer, we’ve got some bad news. Today, the organizers confirmed that the 2022 iteration of the beloved festival will switch to an online-only model. This means they will livestream all conferences and events, and no guests will attend. Given the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, it’s no surprise. That said, it’s still sad news for those excited to attend.
E3 2022 Now Taking Place Online
Yes, a statement published by VentureBeat from E3 today (January 6) confirmed the sad news. “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,” the statement says. This means no attendees will be present, and all conferences will be held virtually.
It’s the same model as E3 2021, where publishers and media channels livestreamed the major conferences. Some see it as an advancement in accessibility, allowing fans across the world to watch the announcements for free. However, fans will no doubt be sad that they cannot attend in person for the second year running.
Following E3 2021, it seemed that this year’s iteration would finally return to an in-person model. The 2021 Game Awards bolstered these hopes, due to its in-person model. Thousands of attendees watched the show at Microsoft Theatre, and it seemed like a turning point. The emergence of the infectious Omicron variant seems to have hampered this progress, however.
While it’s sure to upset fans eager to attend E3, this decision clearly puts public safety at the forefront. The good news is that the virtual platform means it’ll be easily accessible to all fans desperate to catch the latest announcements. All we can hope is that next year’s instalment finally ushers in a safe return to real-life conference fun.