E3 2020 under further threat as California declares coronavirus state of emergency

By Matt Martin, Thursday, 5 March 2020 08:05 GMT

E3 organiser The ESA has said it is actively assessing the coronavirus situation and its potential threat to the annual video game convention, following California’s governor declaring a state of emergency.

A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday after two more deaths in Washington and California, where there are 50 known cases of coronavirus.

The ESA, which has not revealed any concrete details of this year’s event despite it taking place in three months, has said it continues to monitor 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,” said The ESA in a press release.

“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.

Last week the annual Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco was postponed due to the coronavirus, as was the Taipei Game Show, due to take place in February. CCP has also cancelled it’s annual EVE Fanfest and multiple eSports competitions have also been canned.

The coronavirus adds additional pressure to E3 this year, which is suffering a lack of support from the media following a hack to the official website. It has also lost the support of key media partner Geoff Keighley and crucial business from Sony PlayStation.

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