Coronavirus is happening and it’s getting real scary. I mean this is basically an introvert’s dream just working from home and not meeting people. But for those of you that have to be out in the big scary world stay safe and keep washing your hands! So right now due to how infectious the virus is, you may want to avoid any public gathering. This includes any gaming conference or showcase. Already E3 one of of the biggest gaming events in the world has been cancelled. We don’t know how long the virus is expected to last but for now, these are all the major events that won’t be showing. I expect this list to keep growing as the Coronavirus spreads.
Taipei Game Show
Originally set to happen last month in early February, event organisers made the decision to shut the doors a week before the event was supposed to happen. Given how close Taiwan is to China and the number of dropouts the show was getting, it seemed like a wise decision. Taipei Game Show hasn’t actually been cancelled in this case but has been rescheduled to a later date. We can’t predict when the virus will die down but experts say not until August. Taipei Game Show is being super optimistic here by rescheduling the event to June 25th – 28th. When the next Taipei Game Show will be.
Mobile World Congress (MWC)
Not necessarily a huge gaming event but there is a substantial gaming contingency that attends. The Mobile World Congress is Europe’s largest telecom conference that was scheduled for late February. Due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus in Europe, most of the participating companies announced that they wouldn’t be attending this year’s conference. The MWC was being held in Spain which only had a handful of Coronavirus cases at that time. But because this congress generally hosts between 5,000 to 6,000 attendees from China it seemed pertinent to cancel.
Game Developers Conference (GDC)
Just two weeks before GDC began the organisers made the official announcement to cancel the event. The top corporate sponsors from Microsoft, Unity, Epic, Amazon, Facebook and Sony had all already stated that they wouldn’t be attending the event, due to their concerns surrounding the Coronavirus. Like Taipei Game Show, however, the conference organisers are hoping to a host a GDC later in the Summer.
SXSW started off as a music conference but has since branched out into tech and most notably gaming. Set after GDC in Austin, Texas SXSW has announced its cancellation. In a press conference last week the Mayor of Austin has declared a local disaster in the city and cancelled SXSW. Right now the organisers are exploring options to reschedule the event and or provide a virtual online experience. It’s unclear at this time whether you’ll be able to get a refund for SXSW, unlike the other conferences.
Emerald City Comic Con
Not a gaming conference but one that has a ven diagram of interested parties. Seattle Comic Con is of the biggest comic conventions in the United States is officially postponed. Due to start on March 12th, Emerald City Comic Con attracts nearly 100,000 attendants. I’m guessing this year the hazmat suit, full face masks and helmets will be trending in the convention hall. There haven’t been any fixed dates for its postponement but they said sometime in the Summer.
F8 Developers Conference
Set to take place on May 5th and 6th of this year, Facebook has already announced the cancellation of the in-person portion of F8. Instead, Facebook says that it will replace the main F8 conference with “locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content. It’s good that Facebook is doing it early so that travel and such can be arranged.
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
You know shit is getting real when the world’s biggest gaming event E3 gets cancelled. Due to take place from the 9th to 11th of June in Los Angeles, E3 attracts over 70,000 people at a time. It’s a showcase of all the best developers and it is where THE announcements of the year get made. This won’t be the end of E3 this year however as the conference organisers are looking to set up an online experience instead. Look for more updates here.
Those are the big conferences that have closed as of now. But I’m not surprised if others such as the LA Games Conference, ChinaJoy (well any China-based game conference really) getting cancelled in the coming months. And if I were you I wouldn’t buy my tickets just yet for gamescom and Tokyo Game Show.