Tokyo – The video game fair Tokyo Game Show, the largest in Asia and one of the most important in the industry worldwide, will hold its 2020 edition in digital format due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers announced Friday.
The event will keep its dates from Sep. 24 to 2, but it will take place online, although the Organization of Computer Entertainment Providers (CESA), the main organizer, has not yet offered more details about it.
“Due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus on a global scale and the situation remains unpredictable in Japan as well… (we) have reached this decision after a long consideration to place the utmost priority on the health and safety of visitors, exhibitors and stakeholders,” CESA said in a statement.
This announcement comes shortly after another of the largest expos in the world, gamescom in Cologne, Germany, scheduled for Aug. 25-29, announced in April that it was also changing formats after the German government’s decision to cancel all large events until Aug. 31.
“It is therefore clear that this year there will be no business area or entertainment area in the previous format on site. However, this does not change the fact that gamescom will definitely take place digitally,” a statement read.
In addition, the E3 2020 expo in Los Angeles, United States – the largest in the world, scheduled to take place from June 9-11 – announced in March its cancellation, when the spread of the virus was accelerating and shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic.
“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation,” the organizers said.
They added, however, that they were “exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June” so the US event could take place in a format similar to those of the Japanese and German programs.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has so far left nearly 3.5 million affected and more than 250,000 deaths worldwide.