Digital-only until July next year
Everyone has been forced to move away from physical events in the future, because the convention was canceled and the public was encouraged not to attend a large enough meeting. Actually there is no hope whatsoever on the horizon, because we are still unsure of what timeline we are working on. However, E3 2020 has been canceled directly, and publishers and platform holders all seem to only be hosting a pre-recorded stream of what they will show at the press conference.
That’s Microsoft’s plan for this E3, but it seems that there are already plans for continued E3 too. In a email to Microsoft’s MVP regarding scheduling the MVP Summit next year, Microsoft revealed that it “has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience until July 2021.” (The Microsoft MVP program is the “Most Valuable Professional” group – people who are not Microsoft employees, but are recognized as community ambassadors who share valuable technical expertise about certain Microsoft products.)
Unless something has changed, this means that the Xbox doesn’t first show E3 2021 (if E3 2021 even happens, it is). The lively press conference might be replaced by previously recorded presentations, such as the monthly Xbox Inside event. Likewise, the annual Xbox Showcase at the Microsoft Theater adjacent to E3 will not occur. Microsoft keeps its employees on earth for a minimum of 15 months, and it places kibosh on physical presence at any convention.
Realistically, this might be the future for Xbox on E3. Every company that has gotten away from E3 (and Microsoft already has a certain threshold) doesn’t seem to be pushed back. They all get well by hosting their own event which is almost certainly more cost-effective than actually being at E3. There is no denying that E3 is dying of slow death, but COVID-19 restrictions might help speed up the timeline.
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