Nintendo Reportedly Will Not Be Holding an E3-Styled Direct in June
As reported earlier, E3 won't be taking place this year. The decision was obviously due to the coronavirus pandemic; a mass gathering like that is simply not feasible in the current state of things. Despite the big show being cancelled outright, many publishers and developers still stated plans to hold their own digital livestreams for announcements that would have been made at E3. Nintendo was one of those companies, revealing that they were planning to hold an E3-styled Nintendo Direct in June around the same time as usual. All of that has changed due to the pandemic, however. The report came in first from Venturebeat, which has since had its sources corroborated with other outlets. According to them, Nintendo stated to one of their partner developers that they've turned around on holding a Direct in June, planning to outright cancel it completely.
So why the sudden change? As with all things lately, it stems back to COVID. It's bizarre to think that we were all leading relatively normal lives and schedules just a few months ago. It didn't take long for the year to spiral out of control with COVID-19, a highly contagious disease that has severely affected most parts of the world and has brought about countless deaths. It's affected some areas of the Earth more than others, and as far as Japan goes, the situation has been a little up and down. Japan had things relatively contained around March, right when things were heating up in other parts of the world. April has seen a rougher time for them, however, with cases spiking higher to the point where a state of emergency was declared. Naturally, this heavily affected all game developers within the country, Nintendo included. All of the companies are scrambling to adapt to working from home.
Working remotely is easier for some than others, but Japan isn't as readily equipped for it, fostering a culture that emphasizes the importance of showing up to work in person. Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai pointed this out earlier last month, implying that Japan would have a rough time adjusting to the change as he himself began working remotely on Ultimate's updates for the time being. This has all culminated in the elimination of Nintendo Directs for a while now, and according to Venturebeat's report, it looks as if Nintendo is going to have to push that E3 Direct all the way to the end of summer instead. The rumors circulating about the Direct hint that Nintendo is planning to reveal multiple Super Mario game ports for the Switch. As the timing would have it, this would be in honor of Super Mario Bros.' 35th anniversary in September. With a late summer date now being set for that Direct, it will push the announcement that much closer to the anniversary date.
As for publishers who had planned on announcements in June, they've apparently been told that they don't have to wait on Nintendo if they would rather make their reveals on time. So far, Nintendo hasn't confirmed any of this outright, so take it with a grain of salt like everything else. Due to the sources involved, however, it's looking like this report is leaning much closer to fact than fiction. E3 is basically in pieces for the year, and it'll all make the news that much more important to keep on top of this summer as individual companies hold their own announcements and reveals. Some of these companies are participating in a recently announced venture by Game Awards creator/host Geoff Keighley and Valve: The Summer Game Fest. This event will take place between May-August this year, and it's looking to serve as a miniature replacement for E3 as far as game demo'ing and news goes. A wide plethora of publishers and developers are taking part in it, so we can at least look forward to all of that in the wait for Nintendo's eventual Direct.