The video game industry, like many others, has been rudely disrupted by the global pandemic and COVID-19. We’ve seen game delays, like The Last of Us 2, as well as the cancelation of many important conventions. E3 was forced to take a year off, but many fans have been holding out hope that developers will air their major announcements during that week anyway. The ESA was originally intending to organize an online-only E3, but those plans fell through. If the latest reports are true, you shouldn’t hold your breath for a Nintendo Direct that week either.
Nintendo cancels E3 Direct
Nintendo has previously indicated that they would be “flexible” in finding ways to communicate with fans in the absence of E3. Many were hoping for a big Nintendo Direct in June, but Venture Beat believes that’s off the table. They’ve spoken with developers who say Nintendo reached out to them to cancel plans for such an event. Apparently Nintendo intended to hold one, but work-at-home orders caused by COVID-19 have disrupted those plans.
Update: Video Games Chronicle is now corroborating this story with its own sources. You can read their report by clicking here.
COVID-19 clouds the schedule
According to Venture Beat’s sources, Nintendo planned to use the E3 Direct to reveal the rest of its first-party lineup for 2020. We had previously heard that Nintendo planned to host a big Mario anniversary event in June, but that will have to wait. It’s unclear when and how Nintendo will reveal their games going forward, as COVID-19 is forcing everyone to adapt. It’s also possible some games will have to be delayed. Fortunately, Nintendo doesn’t really have any hard release dates out there, so it would only be a delay to internal plans.
A big event like an E3 Direct might be too difficult to coordinate under the current circumstances. Perhaps Nintendo will instead reveal their news in smaller, more spread-out presentations. They may also choose to wait it out and simply hold their big show at a later date. Venture Beat believes that if another full Direct is to be held, it won’t be until the end of summer at the earliest.