Two west coast fan gatherings are among the latest victims of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) set for Los Angeles in June and Anaheim’s WonderCon have been canceled in keeping with precautions from the CDC and worldwide health organizations. California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared that gatherings of more than 250 people be postponed or canceled, at least until the end of March. WonderCon was slated for April 10-12, but it doesn’t seem that organizers believed that the crisis will have passed by then. E3 was slate for Los Angeles on June 9-11. Disneyland, also located in Anaheim, is closed for only the fourth time in its history.
This follows the cancelation of Boston’s Ace Comic Con and Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, as well as the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which was set for this month. All eyes are on San Diego Comic-Con International, which is set for July 23-26, and is the world’s largest fan gathering of this sort. Comic-Con International also produces WonderCon.
Organizers of WonderCon announced (via Deadline):
To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced a recommendation that gatherings and events of more than 250 people should either be postponed or canceled. Comic-Con (organizer of WonderCon) will abide by this recommendation. Therefore WonderCon Anaheim, scheduled for April 10-12, 2020 in Anaheim, California, will be postponed until a later date. We will begin processing refunds in the coming days.
We continue to work closely with officials in San Diego and at this time no decision has been made regarding the rescheduling of Comic-Con slated to take place this summer; July 23-26, 2020. We urge everyone to follow the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local health officials.
The organizers of E3 had a more succinct statement:
“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry…we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020.”
As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, E3 had endured a few setbacks prior to the coronavirus. In January, Sony announced that it would skip the gathering for the second year in a row. The Game Awards host creator and host of E3 Coliseum, Geoff Keighley also dropped out of appearing, and earlier this month, the collectibles company Iam8bit resigned as creative director.
These probably won’t be the last cancellations in the coming month (or months), so check back for more updates!