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The Future of Gaming Event Livestreaming Amid Coronavirus Cancelations

It seems that every big gathering of people from now until the end of summer has been canceled due to the pandemic-level outbreak of COVID-19. TwitchCons, Comic Cons, Minecraft Festival, GDC, SXSW, and even game industry staple E3 have all been canceled in the name of preserving public health.

Here at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, we know that making a personal commitment to socially distance is incredibly important to help protect the vulnerable among us; we are #StayingHomeFor children like Bella who was born prematurely and had a heart and lung transplant. Check out this video to hear more:

While large in-person gaming gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future,  for some, the virtual show must go on.

Extra Life United: Online Edition

Firstly, our team had to quickly shift gears to change Extra Life United from an IRL event in Florida into a virtual global gaming tournament. We’re very proud to now be offering this gaming tournament from April 7-9 online. This free event features a $150,000 prize pool, you can win funds to go towards your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a time when they most need our support. Join us!


The confirmed cancelation of most of this year’s gaming conventions hasn’t slowed down Nintendo. While the company typically holds a large presence at events like E3 or PAX, they have largely shifted toward more accessible and public-facing livestreams to announce and promote the upcoming games on their systems. These Nintendo Directs and yearly showcases allow all of their fans to see what’s coming and get excited for mainstream games like Animal Crossing or small indies like Summer in Mara. The cancelations of physical events has done little to slow Nintendo, we expect to see the next Nintendo Direct on March 26.


2020 seemed to be the year Sony planned to follow in Nintendo’s footsteps and rely mostly on its own livestreaming platforms to get fans hyped for upcoming exclusives. The company skipped E3 2019 and deferred its major PlayStation Experience stream to 2020. Presumably, that preparation renders the gaming giant and its upcoming PlayStation 5 reveal less affected by the in-person event cancelations. However, what Sony’s exact plans might be have yet to be revealed. As time goes on, it seems more likely that Sony’s next big stream will contain their worldwide reveal of the PlayStation 5.


One of the headlining events slated for E3 2020 was the reveal of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-gen console. However, the cancelation of E3 threw all of those plans out the window. There are currently rumors that the spread of COVID-19 will lead to the delay of the console’s release until next year, but Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, announced plans to do some kind of world premiere livestream event for fans. Microsoft lacks an extensive history of streaming its own reveals, so what the rest of the year looks like is anyone’s guess.

Devolver Digital

Independent game publisher Devolver Digital has made a name for itself by poking fun at the spectacle of E3. For the past few years, their press conferences have been surreal pieces of performance art that straddled the line between comedy and horror while still announcing upcoming games. However, with E3 being canceled this year, that’s left them in a somewhat awkward position, especially if their high-concept, pre-taped show has already finished filming. The news hasn’t deterred the company and they announced that they would be holding a “livestream Devolver Direct / press conference and possibly more.”

Staying home doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re missing out any gaming announcements. In fact, we anticipate an even bigger increase in virtual gaming content to emerge in the coming weeks

Who are you #StayingHomeFor? Embrace social distancing as much as you can to help protect kids like Bella who are at an increased vulnerability due to her lung transplant.

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!