COVID-19 and the Gaming Industry: E3 Cancelled But More Time For Video Games

A brief look at how COVID-19 has affected the gaming industry.

These are trying times to say the least. A global pandemic has put many countries under strict lockdown and the global economy has taken a big knock as the flow of money and industry has come to a halt.

It’s no surprise that major events have been cancelled in all fields. Sporting events and all other large social gatherings have been cancelled or postponed to try prevent spreading COVID-19 further. This whole ordeal has taken its toll on gaming but not all of it is grim.

The Bad News

E3, the biggest video game expo on the industry calendar, has been cancelled. In recent years, it has been suggested that the convention is slowly dying with major developers opting for their own smaller (and often cheaper) showcases, such as Electronic Arts and Playstation.

But just because we aren’t getting the grand convention this year-round it doesn’t mean we won’t be getting any news. Microsoft and Ubisoft, as well as other companies, have stated that they are working on digital events in the form of live streams and online interaction with fans.

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Microsoft already releases ‘Inside Xbox’ episodes from time to time so I can see them doing something akin to that. It might not be ideal but in these times but developers, like the rest of the world, need to adapt.

One thing to keep in mind is that these companies plan their showcases months ahead of E3 so whatever they had planned is still the same with simply the implementation of their reveal changing.

I can’t help but wonder if this could not be the future? E3 no doubt costs companies a lot of money. Opting for an in-house livestream would save them a lot of money compared to hosting a staged event. It’ll be interesting to see how this impact E3 conferences in future.

The Good News

While everyone is stuck in their homes, opportunity has struck for gaming companies. There are a lot of sales going on. One that I found was interesting was EA’s latest Sims 4 sale with many fans commenting, “Well, I can’t go outside but that doesn’t mean I can’t start a family.”

Xbox Game Pass is another perfect way to stay entertained with hundreds of games made immediately available to you. Steam has reported a spike in players logging in recently. Even though we can’t hangout with each other, we can still play online together. So, in an odd way, we are all still connected to one another.

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What do you think about E3? Do you think livestreams will become the new norm? Could E3 be turned into a digital event only? Also, what are you doing to stay entertained while in lockdown or quarantine? Let us know in the comments down below!