The Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA) has announced that its upcoming annual video game convention, the Tokyo Game Show, has been officially canceled due to the worldwide ramifications of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The company sent out a press release which goes into further detail on the situation, as well as stating that the convention will now be held as an online event in some capacity. No further details were given in regards to this, but it seems we won’t have to wait long as the press release also mentions that there will be more news on this later this month.
— Wario64 (@Wario64) May 8, 2020
The Tokyo Game Show is one of the longest-running video game events in the world. Taking place exclusively at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, the convention is generally regarded as their own E3, showcasing brand new IPs along with updates to existing ones. While the majority of games shown are developed by Japanese studios, companies outside of the region have also taken part with special keynotes and reveals. Starting out in 1996, the event used to be held twice a year, during the Spring and Fall. This changed in 2002 when CESA decided to hold the event just once a year during the Fall season.
The Tokyo Game Show is just one of many conventions that have been delayed/canceled due to the pandemic. Other major events include E3 2020, ESI New York, Riot Games esports activities, Overwatch and Call of Duty League, GDC 2020, and EVO 2020. Needless to say, the pandemic has greatly affected the entire industry. Two major gaming conventions are still up in the air, PAX West and BlizzCon. As of this writing, PAX West is still scheduled to take place from September 4-7, while Blizzard has addressed the situation stating that “it’s too early to know whether BlizzCon 2020 will be feasible.”
If either event still continues as planned, it’s more than likely that they will have major restrictions in place as they both tend to draw huge crowds. If the numbers don’t improve, or if the organizers don’t feel like they can ensure the safety of the attendees, then it’s likely that they will be greatly reduced or canceled altogether. We’ll be keeping an eye out for new information about the Tokyo Game Show’s online event as well as any more events being canceled due to COVID-19.