The gaming industry has been hugely impacted by the hazardous coronavirus that has now spread across multiple countries and infected thousands of people. This includes various publisher and developer pullouts from gaming events as well as full-on game delays. However, it appears that plans for E3 2020 remain unaffected by the danger of the coronavirus.
According to PC Gamer, the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) plans for E3 2020 are unchanged amid the concerns over the coronavirus. While the organization is “moving ahead full speed,” it claims that the situation is being watched closely, regardless.
There is still much optimism coming from the ESA, with the organization expressing excitement over the “exhibit and registration sales.”
However, the city of Los Angeles, where E3 is held, recently declared a state of emergency. This led to a new released statement from the ESA about the state of E3 2020.
“The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority,” says the statement. “While the ESA continues to plan for a safe and successful E3 show June 9-11, 2020—we are monitoring and evaluating the situation daily.”
While there’s no official change of plans, the ESA states that it will continually inspect the situation at hand as updates are made from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Measures will be taken to “further reduce health risks at the show.”
The responsibility on the part of the ESA is very hopeful. As the show is still more than three months out, the situation regarding the coronavirus could easily shift between now and then. However, it can be presumed that plans would be changed if the situation didn’t improve.
Further, just because the event is still set to occur doesn’t mean that developers and publishers will necessarily attend. As seen with PAX East and the now-delayed GDC, developers and publishers can cancel their events at any time, so it wouldn’t be surprising if E3 2020 featured fewer developers and publishers than usual.
It’s possible that it could be for the best for E3 to be delayed or even canceled. This would give developers an opportunity to theoretically stream their presentations and would mitigate health concerns. Of course, we should hope for the best here, but at least the ESA is doing the most responsible thing it can.
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