Back in March, E3 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, later stating that they wanted to host a digital version of the event. Many major game developers—Microsoft, Square Enix, EA, and Ubisoft—said that they were going to look at alternative options for their game release announcements. However, Bethesda has now announced they will not be among those taking part in a “digital E3,” citing coronavirus related complications.
Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior VP of marketing and communications, released a tweet stating, “Given the many challenges we’re facing due to the pandemic, we will not host a digital showcase in June. We have lots of exciting things to share about our games and look forward to telling you more in the coming months.”
The alternatives to E3, according to early reports, look to be live-streamed events. It is yet to be seen if any major developers choose E3’s digital event or if they will each host their own, especially since their announcements are a major part of E3’s draw. E3 is also a major platform for indie developers and the loss of bigger studios at the event could negatively impact how much coverage new indie games receive. This could also set a precedent for a departure from the event altogether, which would mark the end of a longstanding industry tradition.
Doom Eternal, which was released March 20 is the only title that Bethesda announced for this year. Which begs the question of what exciting things Bethesda has in store for fans in the near future, with two new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. This move also raises questions on whether we’re likely to get any updates on the fate of the highly anticipated next installment in the Elder Scrolls series, almost two years after its E3 2018 announcement teaser.