Coronavirus roundup: GamesCom 2020 is still planned for August – for now

Plus news from Hi-Rez, Rockstar, Jagex, ZeniMax, Klang, and Blizzard


With GDC and E3 closing their doors, you might be wondering about GamesCom 2020, originally set for August this summer. Will the coronavirus have run its full course by then? We don’t know. So the organizers of GamesCom are getting out in front of questions by announcing that the show is still on – at least for now – thought the group reserves the right to shut it all down this summer, which would be a wise move, given that 373,000 attended last year. Here’s the whole statement, including the part where Koelnmesse promises to refund everyone if the event is cancelled or postponed.

Here are a few other bits of pandemic news relevant to MMO players:

Hi-Rez canceled the launch of ticket sales for Hi-Rez Expo 2021, saying that it “would be in poor taste” even though the event is still quite a ways away. “We have no reason to believe Hi-Rez Expo will be cancelled at this point in time,” the company notes.

Rockstar Games joined many other games companies now by announcing worldwide remote work-from-home for its staffers. “Our online games will continue to operate as usual,” the company wrote, “and support teams will remain available for players.”

The Seed team at Klang Games is doing the same. “That does absolutely not mean production has come to a halt. By cleverly only employing giant nerds, dorks and geniuses, we could transition into home office life pretty smoothly. ”

It sounds as if Elder Scrolls Online studio ZeniMax is also wisely working from home. Here’s Rich Lambert:

Jagex, too, has joined the work-from-home workforce. Tweets from the RuneScape and Old School RuneScape teams make it clear most, though not all, Jmods will be working remotely. The teams also have a note for players, reminding them to wash their hands while humming the first four bars of the game’s Sea Shanty 2 tune. “Keep yourself and your family safe, and we’ll keep RuneScape going,” Jagex concludes. “After all, the best place to self-isolate is in Gielinor.”

Finally, it’s worth pointing out when a company is getting all this right: A senior project manager at Blizzard praised the company on Twitter, saying it was offering “counseling services, WFH, 100% insurance coverage for COVID-19 related health care, and a plan for parents coming soon.” Even a stopped clock, right?

Please be safe out there, folks. Check in and tell us how you’re doing.

More on the impact of the virus on gaming:

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