The spreading novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 has once more seen a number of gaming-related events cancelled or otherwise postponed.
First off is the collective South by Southwest (SXSW) series of film, music, and interactive media events, which have been cancelled by the city of Austin, Texas. While the Austin Public Health department saw no evidence that closing SXSW or other public events would make the community safer, the rapidly evolving situation has changed enough that the city decided to play it safe. The coordinators of SXSW will be considering options for rescheduling the event and running an online version of SXSW EDU.
Next is Mojang’s Minecraft Festival, which was scheduled for this September but has elected to postpone until next year as a result of the virus. While September is certainly a while away, the partners, producers, and exhibitors that are required to put the event together live all over the world, and without knowing when planning can safely resume, Mojang has decided to hold the event back instead. While the Festival is shut down, the Minecraft Live livestream will go on as scheduled.
Finally, EA is cancelling a whole swath of esports events for FIFA 20 and Apex Legends that were scheduled through March into early May, including the Apex Legends Global Series. New dates will be provided as soon as possible. “These decisions haven’t come easy, but given the large, global nature of these events, we believe that making these changes are in the best interest of protecting the health of the community, including competitors, attendees and staff,” explains the announcement.
More on the impact of the virus on gaming: