The MOP Up: Coronavirus concerns are impacting PAX East 2020

    
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Sony became the biggest game company to pull out of Boston-based PAX East 2020, citing concerns about the coronavirus not-quite-an-epidemic. “Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus),” the company wrote on its blog. “We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.”

That move was followed by a similar move from Square Enix, which canceled most of its Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XI activities at the con.

And this is just the beginning of the rest of the news! Read on for a roundup of other smaller MMO news stories and videos from this past week in this edition of The MOP Up (and if you don’t see a news story that we should have covered, drop us a tip)!

Warface stealth-launched on the Nintendo Switch, hoping to fill the void for shooters on the platform.

City of Heroes’ Homecoming servers got a wee update, chiefly to fix bugs.

Wakfu’s next update, 1.67, is open for testing on the beta server, with the buffed up Foggernaut class, new dungeon boss Aguabrial, and new Haven Bag design. Akama has also said it aims to make adjustments for characters that don’t make use of boosters.

State of Decay 2 is due for a major “Juggernaut Edition” update and Steam rollout in March.

Former Diablo creator David Brevik says the StarCraft leak earlier this week looked real to him.

Revelation Online is celebrating its third birthday with Colosseum VII.

Nexon’s mobile MMO Spiritwish patched in the Guild Clash mode for PvPers.

A kraken has invaded Valnir Rok!

The Jedi Themepark prologue is live in NGE Star Wars Galaxies emu known as SWG Legends.

Dark Age of Camelot is still trucking along; it’s just dropped its Ghost Keep event, running through March 10th.

Elder Scrolls Online popped up with some fresh lore ahead of the launch of Harrowstorm next week.

Old-school inspired MMORPG Astonia: The Return of Yendor hit Steam as a F2P this week. “Astonia takes you back to the roots of 2D-isometric C-RPG classics, featuring old-school RPG mechanics such as customizable characters, a high variety of complex spells, skills, professions, complicated storylines/quests and an intricate PvP system, set in a rich high-fantasy world with steampunk elements.”

MU Online’s Season 14: Part 2 is live. This tells you nothing because that name says nothing. The important bit to the patch is the new Atlantis of the Abyss field, the new mastery accessory, the new Monster Soul Changer system, and a level cap bump up to – wait for it – 1150.

Starbase continued its rollout of patch notes as it marches along in development.

Star Sonata revamped the heck out of engineers. “Our proposed changes aim to make Engineers more engaging to play,” the team writes. “We are especially focusing on making each new skill immediately impactful and gameplay-changing.”

EverQuest II rolled out a patch with a bit scary list of patch notes, but don’t panic – most of it’s to fix miscellaneous issues. The highlights? It addressed the Restless Ice spell, added new spell augmentation merchants, fixed some raid stability problems, and tweaked the UI for debuffs.

Gamigo is running a fun video contest for ArcheAge dubbed the Lucius Motion Picture Awards.

And finally, Mortal Online’s devs teased some of Mortal Online 2’s new models.

The MMO industry pumps out more and more news every year – no site could possibly cover everything. That’s why we gather together all the extras every week in The MOP Up, our a weekly compilation of MMO info we don’t want lost in the cracks of time. Send us your news bits through our tips line!
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Bannex

So much misinformation about this virus. It’s actually really difficult to know anything because of how hard it is to get straight reports out of China and how stupid/ attention hungry people are on the internet.

If anybody is claiming on the internet to know wtf is going on with this virus they’re lying.

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Java Jawa

Probably a wise move, safety first.

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traja

Gaming conventions gather people from across the globe to the same area and in close proximity of one another. It would be a challenge to come up with a more ideal scenario for the virus to spread. Then if someone in there develops symptoms the whole convention might be quarantined for weeks. Can’t really blame people for not wanting to risk that even if the actual health danger is low for the demographic that would attend a gaming convention.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah it’d probably be wise to just chill and relax until it starts warming up. From what’s been said at least, it’s a lot like the cold/flu where warmer/more humid weather kills it off or greatly inhibits its ability to spread.

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silverlock

What nonsense theirs been what a dozen cases in the US and one in Massachusetts and that was a man who had returned from Wuhan.

Bereman
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Bereman

34 cases so far.

I’d imagine the concern is more that, being companies that are from the region of the world where the coronavirus is a more pressing concern, that they don’t want to run the risk of being “that guy” that managed to bring it over and spread it at a convention. That’d be quite the PR hit.

It’s simply a case of better safe than sorry.

Also, conventions like PAX already have a reputation for being a bit of a breeding ground for your more commonly encountered contagious illness anyway (“con flu” is a nickname for getting sick just after a convention for a reason). Imagine just a couple individuals from the Asian regions end up carrying it (it takes a couple weeks for the symptoms to appear, but you are contagious at that point and can spread it before you know you have) and end up at PAX before they know they are carrying it…

That 34 cases could quickly become 340. Or 3400. And they wouldn’t know until two weeks or so after PAX had ended.

So yeah…better safe than sorry.

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cursedseishi

Dozens, try and get your facts straight. Also Japan has been seeing increased cases of it as well, this isn’t some US-specific issue here mate, especially when it comes to intercontinental travel.

And no, it isn’t nonsense to be rather cautious regarding a virus that is extremely contagious from the moment you contract it and throughout the two week period it’s inactive, to the moment you start exhibiting symptoms in earnest.
That’s how it has managed to spread like it has. That’s why you see two week mandatory periods of quarantine for any ENTIRE group of people should one of them exhibit any potential symptoms.

But no, do whine and whinge about it some more. Because I’m sure you’d be first in line whining about delays and whatnot if some major developers did attend and get stuck either in Quarantine, or god forbid contracts it and brings it back just in time to get their teams sick as well.

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Schmidt.Capela

To put things in context, there were likely just one or two infected people in the Diamond Princess cruise ship to start; there are now over 600 infected people among the crew and (former) passengers, with 3 people dead.

Similarly, there were likely just one or two infected people who attended the funeral of a prominent member of a South Korean church; there are now over 300 infected in the congregation.

In other words, COVID-19 is about as contagious as the common cold, with the difference that almost no one in the world is immune because it’s a new disease. Thankfully its death rate is fairly low (though if it goes pandemic even with a low death rate we would still be talking about millions of deaths)

Besides, screening is very spotty because people can take days, or even weeks, to develop any symptoms; there are a few recorded cases of people taking about a month after exposure to develop the disease, not to mention that many people only develop minor symptoms that aren’t caught in screening. This means not even mandatory quarantine can prevent travelers from spreading the disease.

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Utakata

On the upside, it’s not even remotely near Stephen King’s, The Stand yet.