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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Omicron moved to E3 online-only event due to concerns

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The Entertainment Software Association is moving the Electronic Entertainment Expo to an online-only event out of concerns surrounding the pandemic.

“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,” ESA said in a statement to Gamesbeat. “We are incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

This means the show will go online this summer for the second year in a row, as COVID-19 concerns pushed the June 2021 show to an online-only event and scrapped the 2020 event altogether. To clarify whether there will be an online event, ESA said it is “excited about the prospects of an online program.”

ESA, a trade group led by game industry publishers, is clearly on alert due to the massive explosion in coronavirus infections prompted by Omicron Edition. The CES 2022 tech trade show – which is taking place this week in Las Vegas – has drawn a lot of criticism for going ahead with its in-person event despite the risks of being a “superspreader” event.

While E3 is still months away and the current spike may be over by that time, the organization is in the midst of signing up companies to take up exhibition space, as it often takes months for companies to pull together their booths for big shows. In normal times, more than 50,000 industry people and 15,000 fans personally visit the Los Angeles Convention Center every June.

UPDATE: 1/6/22 PM 12:56 PM Pacific Time: Updated with revised statement.

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