The recent postponement of GDC and other community and developer events due to concerns about the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak led some to wonder whether E3, which is scheduled for June, could also be halted. The Entertainment Software Association, which organizes E3, said earlier this week that it was "moving full speed ahead" with planning for the show despite the concerns.
But today the city of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency, prompting the ESA to release an updated statement saying that it is continuing 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," the ESA said.
"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."
LA's coronavirus website states that there are only a few known cases in the region, and the ESA clarified, as did Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti earlier today, that the declaration of local 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." The city is currently emphasizing "healthy hygiene practices," including regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and also recommends having "extra food, water, medical supplies, and emergency kits," although given how prone the area is to earthquakes that's probably a good idea anyway.
E3 is still three months away, which is lots of time for things to change, but the statement bears a strong resemblance to those released by GDC prior to its decision to pull the plug. If the coronavirus continues unabated through April and into May, it's very possible that the ESA will be forced to make the same decision.
We're following along with all industry-related coronavirus updates here. For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization.