E3 2020 is uncertain because its host city, Los Angeles, has declared a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak (via Nintendo Life).
The decision was made after a Californian man died from the disease that he contracted while on the Grand Princess cruise ship. 50 cases have now been confirmed in 12 counties across California, and officials are attempting to get in contact with the “hundreds” of other Californians who were on that same ship. “While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions,” said Placer County health officer Dr. Aimee Sisson to the Los Angeles Times.
Last week, the Entertainment Software Association stated it was “moving ahead full speed” with the plans for E3 2020, in spite of the cancellation of the Game Developers Conference to be held this month. Now, the state of emergency has led the organisation to revise its stance. The new statement follows:
“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. Again, please know that we will continue to evaluate new developments and provide updates, as needed.”
With regards to GDC 2020, a number of companies and partners dropped out of the event due to the risk posed to their employees and to attendees. Sony said that its withdrawal was “the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily,” and Microsoft chose to withdraw after “guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution.” E3 2020 is still on the way, and the coronavirus outbreak could become much more severe in three months time. Dr. Sisson’s point about endangering those who are very young, elderly, or immuno-compromised has likely been considered by the ESA, and it is hoped that its planned preventative measures won’t be needed, because the outbreak has been controlled. Still, no one knows what the situation will be like in June. We’ll keep you in the loop if anything happens with E3 2020.