E3 officially cancelled, Batman Reveal stalled

TODAY: Could E3 be done for after this year’s show is cancelled — Frontier Developments has signed up to make Formula 1 games — Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 could have belonged in a museum

COVID-19 Strikes E3 2020

E3 2020 Officially Cancelled

Only a week after organizer ESA stated that E3 2020 would not succumb to the COVID-19 panic, an official statement has confirmed rumours that, unfortunately, E3 2020 will be cancelled.

Early this morning multiple games industry sources, including Devolver Digital, suggested that the cancellation would be announced later today.

Bloomberg then claimed that the ESA contacted several partners yesterday in an attempt to make E3 an online event this year.

  • Sony announced that they would skip E3 for the second year in a row
  • Nintendo decided to address consumers directly through Nintendo Direct rather than relying on press coverage from trade shows

Expect more pre-recorded streams: The announcements studios and publishers were planning to make at E3 will most likely be announced by stream instead, with Ubisoft and Microsoft confirming so already.

Uneventful console launches: This is probably going to be the first time major consoles are marketed without major live events. GDC was cancelled two weeks ago, and it looks like more events will follow suit.

Batman Missing Out: Warner Bros. were planning to hold their first press conference at the show, according to a report from Kotaku News Editor Jason Schreier, which would have revealed the Harry Potter RPG, the next Batman game and Rocksteady’s upcoming title.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Tony Hawk game was nearly exhibited at the Smithsonian museum?

  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
  • Tony Hawk’s Project 8

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Daily Fact

E3 through the ages

E3 has been the biggest and most well-known videogames trade show for the past 25 years, but this year’s cancelled show could mean the end of the line.

Much has changed since the early days, but it has mostly stayed in the Los Angeles Convention Center except for the two years it was hosted at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Organiser The Entertainment Software Association tried to scale the show down in 2007-2008, holding an event at the Santa Monica airport since most of the business was conducted in hotel rooms anyway while the show floor was nearly empty.

In the last few years, the event has attempted to pivot from a trade show for credentialed journalists to a ticketed consumer show, but this year’s cancellation and waning interest from publishers and platform holders might spell the end of an era.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Xbox Series X

Microsoft prepare livestream for next week discussing Xbox Series X

Microsoft was originally planning to reveal more about Xbox Series X and Project xCloud at GDC, but since the event was postponed they will stream the talks on March 17th and 18th, beginning at 1pm ET/4pm UK/5pm CEST.

The March 17th stream will be delivered by representatives from The Coalition, who will talk about Gears 5, and Rare, who will talk about Sea of Thieves. Microsoft will talk about Xbox Series X and Project xCloud on March 18th.

  • Microsoft calls Xbox Series X and xCloud a new chapter in gaming
  • inXile and Double Fine will also appear on the March 18th stream

What to expect: According to the GDC programme, Microsoft would concentrate on Xbox Series X’s dedicated audio hardware-acceleration features, featuring audio designers from Borderlands 3 and Gears 5.

F1 Management Game

Frontier signs deal with Formula 1

The studio behind Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster has signed a multi-year license with Formula 1. The license gives Frontier the exclusive rights to develop management games based on the the Formula 1 brand.

The deal covers four F1 seasons from 2022 to 2025 and depends on Frontier achieving above certain financial performance thresholds. The upcoming Formula 1 games will target both PC and consoles.

  • A big departure for a studio most famous for theme park sims
  • Frontier will use its own Cobra engine to develop the Formula 1 games

Frontier’s CEO on the deal: “F1 is one of the most popular global sporting franchises in the world, and we believe the combination of the F1 brand together with our extensive experience in management games will deliver fantastic game experiences to a wide and varied audience around the world.”

What Else Happened Today?

  • New Tony Hawk game in 2020 according to punk band The Death Set. The band inadvertently revealed the game in a now deleted Facebook post announcing that some of their tracks has been licensed for it
  • Post-launch plans for Zombie Army 4 detailing free updates as well as season pass content
  • Sony finally confirms Horizon Zero Dawn for PC in a recent interview on the official PlayStation Blog. You can wishlist the Complete Edition
  • 2K sign NFL deal for non-simulation NFL games, the first 2K Sports NFL game since NFL 2K5 from 2004
  • The next Nintendo Direct is about the 2020 lineup according VentureBeat. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the only upcoming game with an official release date, so Nintendo won’t be going into specifics

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Tony Hawk game was nearly exhibited at the Smithsonian museum?

Answer: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2!

The Smithsonian American Art museum created an exhibition showing the evolution of videogames from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 3 in 2012.

Each console was showcased by four games decided by a public vote. One of the candidates for the PlayStation 2 was Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 – which was a slightly odd choice for representing the state of the art, considering it is a licensed title filled to the brim with juvenile humour.

Perhaps forunately, it did not end up in the final exhibit. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 was classified as an action game, and faced stiff competition from God of War and Shadow of the Colossus, and in the end Shadow of the Colossus won out. But we still love ya, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, you adorable lump of Jackass, you!

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Ken McKown, Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Christian Vaz and Jamie Davey.