The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has yet again stated they are “monitoring and evaluating the situation daily,” as to whether E3 2020 will go ahead; in light of the city of Los Angeles declaring a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
After it was announced that the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 would be postponed due to the outbreak (after many major publishers and developers pulled out), the ESA reassured the public that “everyone is watching the situation very closely,” but they were “moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning.”
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, 5].
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 95,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 3,200 deaths. Over 51,000 people have made a “total recovery.”
Across the United States of America, there have been 153 cases, 11 deaths, and 8 total recoveries. It should be noted out of the 153 cases, seven are in Los Angeles (where E3 2020 will be held). This is part of the 35 cases in California, where there have been two total recoveries.
Now, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a state of emergency. Speaking on Facebook he stated “While there are only a few known active COVID-19 cases in the region, the declaration helps us access state and federal funding to strengthen and support our efforts to prepare our region and keep our communities safe.”
According to the official Los Angeles coronavirus website, this means stricter measures and warnings at ports and airports, along with “all City Departments to review and update Continuity of Operations Plans, to help ensure that City Departments can continue delivering essential services in the event of an emergency.”
The website does not mention any recommendation to avoid public gatherings. Nonetheless, doubt has been casted yet again on E3 2020. The ESA has issued another statement on the situation (via GameIndustry.biz and other outlets).
Much like before, the ESA insists they are monitoring the situation.
“The health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff is our top priority. 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.
Our E3 team and partners continue to monitor COVID-19 via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are actively assessing the latest information and will continue to develop measures to further reduce health risks at the show.
The city of Los Angeles, which has declared a state of emergency, offered the following guidance:
- The state of emergency allows the city and county to qualify for additional funding needed to prepare for COVID-19 in the future, if such funds are needed at all.
- City officials will continue to prioritize measures and guidelines that are focused on cleanliness and safety.
- The city of Los Angeles website is a source for local information.
Again, please know that we will continue to evaluate new developments and provide updates, as needed.”
We will keep you informed if the situation changes.
Earlier reports also announced that E3 2020 would be a “new and revitalized experience.” This may also match claims from a leaked document, stating E3 would rebrand as a “Fan, Media, and Influencer Festival.” The document also proposed an industry-only day during the first day of the convention, which has come to pass (June 9th).
When asked on Twitter what fueled his decision not to participate, Keighley replied, “A ton of factors, I just don’t really feel comfortable participating given what I know about the show as of today.”
E3 2020 will run from June 9th to June 11th, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Image: E3 Official Website