Report: E3 Nintendo Direct canceled due to first-party development delays

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Yesterday we covered the unfortunate reports that Nintendo won’t be holding an E3-style presentation in June. With the convention canceled, Nintendo had been internally planning on holding a Nintendo Direct during that week anyway, but the global pandemic has changed those plans. Both Venture Beat and Video Games Chronicle reported that working from home has set Nintendo back, and Eurogamer has since added more details. According to their sources, this is all due to first-party development delays.

E3 Nintendo Direct canceled

While the E3 Nintendo Direct would have contained some third-party news, Nintendo’s first party-lineup was the main focus. According to Eurogamer, adapting to a work-from-home system has put Nintendo’s development teams behind schedule. The games simply need more time in the oven before Nintendo is ready to hold a big show and nail down release dates.

In the meantime, third-party developers have been told not to wait for a Direct. Nintendo has encouraged them to reveal their games on their own time, so we should see news trickle out in the coming months. At least there’s something to look forward to in this disappointing time!

First-party delays

So what does this mean for the future of Nintendo reveals? No one knows for sure, though sources suspect the next Direct might not arrive until September. It’s an open secret at this point that Nintendo’s planning a big 35th-anniversary event for Super Mario Bros., which originally launched in September. It’s possible that they’ll hold off on most first-party reveals until then.

I speculated in our previous report that Nintendo would suffer internal game delays, and it seems that is indeed happening. Fortunately, they hadn’t announced any release dates prior to the pandemic, so there’s no need to reverse any public plans. Games that were internally planed for 2020 can be pushed into 2021 without most of Nintendo’s audience ever knowing the difference.


Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.