The coronavirus has begun to affect the world of video games with E3, the annual video game industry showcase, being cancelled due to the virus.
E3 2020 was set to be held on the weekend of June 9th through the 11th, but growing concerns of the spreading of coronavirus have led the organizers of the prestigious showcase event to cancel it altogether. Full refunds will be given to exhibitors and members of the press.
E3 hasn’t missed a year since its inception, with this cancellation marking the first time the event won’t go on. The event drew criticism after last year when data on journalists was leaked to the public, and with companies such as Sony opting out of the event, it seems more likely that publishers will stick to doing their own events for announcements, such as Nintendo Directs.
Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic, with over 100,000 cases globally and over 1,000 cases in the U.S. There’s been talks of the major sporting leagues such as the NBA, MLB and NHL postponing games.
It’s also bled into the esports world, with a major Super Smash Bros. tournament being cancelled due to the spread of the virus. Full Bloom 6 was set to happen on March 14th but a press release by the organizers announced that they were working in accordance with Indiana University’s guidelines to take the most effective preventative measures.
Full Bloom had become an annual tournament series that held prestige, drawing in hundreds of competitors as well as top talent from both the Melee and Ultimate scenes. The staff is already planning for next year’s event.
It is unclear at this time if any other major tournaments will be affected by the spreading of coronavirus; experts advise against major gatherings if possible, and tournaments such as Get On My Level 2020 are projected to bring in over 1,000 people on top of being held in an area where coronavirus patients have been confirmed. We can expect further cancellations (or at least players withdrawing their attendance) in the near future.