There are continued Coronavirus effects on the convention circuit both in the United States and abroad. The situation is developing rapidly.
Just yesterday we wrote about the Coronavirus effects on the convention scene, and there are already several updates to report.
First, we have an anime convention in Japan announcing that it’s completely cancelled due to the disease. Anime Japan, which was scheduled for March 21st through March 24th, will not continue as planned. Their official statement reads as follows:
In the face of the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the call from the Japanese government to cancel large-scale events made on February 26, but most of all thinking about the health and safety of our visitors and everyone involved in the event we have decided to cancel AnimeJapan 2020 and Family Anime Festa 2020.
We are extremely sorry towards all the anime fans looking forward to this year’s edition and all involved parties who were preparing for the event, however the conclusion has been made to prevent the further spread of the infection.
For many, this was an expected turn of events. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has encouraged event organizers across the country to cancel events, so they are following official government advice with this decision. No word yet on if the Olympics will move forward, though we should know by the end of May.
Back in the gaming convention scene, the Coronavirus effects have caused both Epic Games and Microsoft to pull out of the Game Developers Conference. They have joined EA, Facebook, Kojima Productions, and Kowloon Nights, which had previously announced their pull out of GDC.
Facebook has also announced the cancellation of its developer conference, F8, which was scheduled for May 5th and 6th in San Jose. This is the furthest out that any event has been cancelled so far that I can find. It could mean other late spring and early summer events could soon follow suit.
Meanwhile, CinemaCon, like the Reed Exhibition events we discussed in our last update, are still planning on holding their event in Las Vegas from March 30th to April 2nd. John Fithian of NATO and Mitch Neuhauser of CinemaCon sent the following message to members and participants:
NATO and CinemaCon believe that our plans going forward should be based on logical risk assessments and advice from health officials, and not from fear. At the same time, we want to be sensitive to the legitimate concerns of those people and companies that have been affected by the virus, most notably in Asia and a few other affected territories.
California, which has many major conventions coming up including both WonderCon in April and San Diego Comic-Con in July, just broke the news that they are monitoring 8,400 people for the Coronavirus. California has also been the first location in the United States with a case of community spread. We will continue to keep an eye on upcoming cons in California and elsewhere for potential disruptions.
There are 82,500 cases confirmed worldwide with at least 2,810 dead. The CDC has set up a map so that the community can monitor confirmed cases and the ever changing statistics of the disease.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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