E3 2022 to go digital-only in light of COVID-19 Omicron safety issues

The ESA announced that this year's E3 games showcase will once again forgo a physical event amid new and prominent COVID-19 concerns.


As COVID-19 continues to be a devastating disruptive matter worldwide, so too are event organizers forced to consider hard decisions regarding in-person events. It would appear that the ESA is getting ahead of it with E3 2022 this year. The organizers just announced that in light of concerns regarding the COVID-19 Omicron variant, If E3 2022 happens at all, it will be an all-digital event. No physical E3 will take place this year.

The ESA announced its decision regarding E3 2022 in a statement to Gamesbeat on January 6, 2022. In its statement, the Entertainment Software Association specifically called out the ongoing and evolving risks of COVID-19 as a key factor in its decision.

Due to the continually evolving variants of COVID-19, the ESA has already deemed it safer to pursue on an online-only digital event for E3 2022.
Due to the continually evolving variants of COVID-19, the ESA has already deemed it safer to pursue the possibility of an online-only digital event for E3 2022.

While E3 usually takes place in June, this could be seen as an opportunity by the ESA to get ahead of the issue and better plan a digital event with partners for E3 2022. While E3 2021 was also a digital-only affair it was also the first time the ESA tried such a thing and many agreed there was room for improvement in the way it played out. With so much more time between now and E3's usual time, it’s likely the ESA may work on developing an improved digital event experience. At the very least, Geoff Keighley (no stranger to digital-only events at this point) seems poised to capitalize on the situation with Summer Game Fest 2022.

The ESA promises that more details are on the way when it comes to the possibility of a digital E3 2022. Check back as we continue to follow for further updates on the matter later this year. Of course, Shacknews will be ready with its own E-number shenanigans this year too, so stay tuned.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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