And the pandemic strikes again.

Once again, the pandemic is responsible for preventing in-person presence in events and bringing back the days when things used to be normal. This time, the event in question is the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short.

Its organizers, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) don’t seem to share the same confidence as those of the CES 2022. Unlike the tech event, which is progressing despite numerous companies backing out of attending in person, the E3 will be shifted to an online-only affair this year.

There is not much change in the script even after two years of the pandemic, it seems – the number of cases rises, companies and individuals become skeptical of attending, and finally the organizers announce that they will be going online. This is the second consecutive E3 to be held completely online – the E3 2020 had been canceled due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“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,” the ESA said. “We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon.”

Now, you have to wait for another year to attend the E3 in person, provided that the situation has improved by then. With this decision, E3 2022 becomes yet another event to have been affected by the pandemic. Some of the events that have been similarly affected by the rising number of cases include CES 2022, the Grammy Awards, and the Sundance Film Festival. While the 64th Grammy Awards have been postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases (thank you Omicron), the Sundance Film Festival had opted to go online.

The E3 usually kicks off at the Los Angeles Convention Center every June.

E3 is to the gaming world what CES is to the tech industry – it is considered to be the largest gaming expo in terms of importance and impact. To continue waiting to attend it in person is frustrating, no doubt, but unfortunately, such measures are needed to combat the waves of COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant. The number of cases in the US and Europe has been rising exponentially in recent times.

Last year, the E3 had been held completely online. It had included participation from publishers and developers such as Nintendo, Ubisoft, Xbox, Square Enix, Capcom, and Warner Bros.