Organizers of BitSummit 2020, the Japanese indie developer convention, have cancelled the event due to the “growing concerns” of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Due to the growing concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are very sad to inform you that BitSummit The 8th Bit will no longer be held on May 9th and 10th as planned, as the spread does not show any sign of slowing down.
We would like to extend our deepest apologies for this inconvenience to all of our partners, supporters, exhibitors and long-time visitors who were eager to participate in the 8th edition of BitSummit.
With the safety of our visitors and participants being our very first priority, we have made the difficult decision to avoid any chance of the virus spreading any further.
We are incredibly thankful for all the support, advice and encouragement we’ve received from all our partners and patrons. Our plans are to continue working on BitSummit The 8th Bit, and we will share more information on the status of the show in the coming weeks.”
The event would have taken place in Kyoto, and much like western events like GDC, it is a chance for indie developers to speak to publishers. After GDC’s cancellation, Wings Interactive began to organize a relief fund, to “alleviate burden” indie developers affected by it.
The coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) has affected many businesses in China, including Google, Apple, Facebook, and more. It has also hindered businesses in Japan, including those centered around anime, and video games [1, 2, 3, 4]. This includes the postponement and cancellation of GDC and E3 2020 respectively.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 121,500 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 4,300 deaths. Over 66,200 people have made a “total recovery.” On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak “can be categorized as a pandemic.”
In Japan, there have been 581 cases, 12 deaths, and 101 total recoveries.
Image: BitSummit official website