COVID-19: Cancelled Culture

StericaSterica YesRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited July 7 in Games and Technology
The Coronavirus is running amok all over, and it’s shutting down a lot of events. The purpose of this thread is to be a community resource for when gaming-related events are shut down because of the virus. This is NOT a thread to discuss the virus or anything else pertaining to it: that’s what D&D is for.

Confirmed Cancelled
  • GDC
  • SXSW
  • E3
  • Toronto Comic Con
  • Midwest Gaming Classic
  • All Official Pokémon Tournaments
  • QuakeCon
  • San Diego Comic-Con
  • Gamescom (Digital events still happening)
  • EVO (Online tournament planned Event Cancelled entirely for 2020)
  • The International (DOTA Tournament)
  • GenCon
  • Essen SPIEL
  • BlizzCon (digital event in early 2021)
  • SGDQ (will have online marathon in August)
  • PAX AUS
  • PAX West (PAX Online, a free event, occurring Sept 12-20)
  • Emerald City Comic-Con
  • RTX (will have virtual event)
  • Dragon Con (virtual event during Labor Day weekend)

Cancelled basically means the event isn’t happening until 2021 or later.

Currently Postponed or Altered
  • Apple WWDC (Will be streamed)
  • Origins (Moved to Oct 7- 11; online stream June 19 - 21)

Postponed means anything still happening this year, but just later.

Still Occurring As Planned
  • New York Comic Con
  • Pax Unplugged

If you have updates or additions, INCLUDE AN OFFICIAL SOURCE. I would also only include noteworthy events, and not your local comic shop’s Magic tournament shutting down. International events are good to have.

Stay safe out there!

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Posts

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited March 13
    Apple Worldwide Developer Conference has moved to online only, per a notice from a few moments ago.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/apples-wwdc-to-be-online-only-this-year-due-to-coronavirus/

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you are traveling this con season, I would recommend you A. Follow all health advisories and travel in a manner that minimizes risk and B. Make sure all travel reservations have solid refund policies so you aren’t eating the whole cost if the event is cancelled.

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  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    If you are traveling this con season, I would recommend you A. Follow all health advisories and travel in a manner that minimizes risk and B. Make sure all travel reservations have solid refund policies so you aren’t eating the whole cost if the event is cancelled.

    A buddy of mine learned B the hard way and is now out ~$2100.

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  • ErlkönigErlkönig Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    Just a head's up with the postponement of Emerald City ComicCon.

    They've announced the new date for the con: August 21st through 23rd.

    Yes, this means that ECCC is the week before a potential PAX West (assuming PAX West is still the last weekend of August).

    EDIT - source: the ECCC email I got earlier this evening informing me that I can transfer my badge to the new date if I wanted to.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited March 14
    If you ARE traveling to/from the United States via airplane, you can now carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through security. Take advantage of that if you can.

    Also, if your event gets cancelled and you pre-paid for your hotel, call your hotel and try to get a refund anyway. When Pokemon Go Fest St. Louis got cancelled, the Courtyard by Marriott gave me a full refund when I asked. Be kind when you call -- the hospitality industry is going through a lot.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Ticketmaster has a master list of their rescheduled/cancelled events here: https://www.ticketmaster.com/discover/eventupdates.

    You can select your local metro area and refine by event type.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 17
    Toronto Comic Con has been cancelled.
    In response to recommendations by Health Canada on the risks associated with mass gatherings as it relates to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Toronto Comicon.

    Our thoughts are with our entire community who have been impacted by this unprecedented challenge.

    Our duty to you is to work year-round to deliver the ultimate fan experience. We are passionate about our fans and committed to creating a safe space for everyone across all genres to gather. We look forward to seeing you at FAN EXPO Canada August 27 - 30 where we can come together again to celebrate fandom.

    The wording about 'seeing you at FAN EXPO' indicates to me that they aren't planning to reschedule, this one is just done. However, Toronto Comic Con is a much smaller event than Fan Expo (the former is 3 days and takes up a chunk of one part of the Metro Toronto Convention Center, whereas the latter takes up like the whole damned thing, both North and South buildings, and is 4 days long).


    Gencon is currently still on
    Updated on March 12, 2020

    We have been closely following the current outbreak of COVID-19, and we know that our attendees and community are as concerned as we are about the virus and the uncertainty that comes with it.

    In light of Indiana State Governor Eric Holcomb's announcement today, we want to assure our community that we are considering health guidelines from Indiana State officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as we monitor the situation and prepare for any contingencies.

    Currently, we do not anticipate any changes to the normal operation of Gen Con 2020. If that changes, we will notify our community as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. We wish you health and safety, and we will continue to post updates to this page as the situation develops.

    But of course, an event over 4 months away is massively subject to change.

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  • CellorifficCelloriffic Registered User regular
    The Midwest Gaming Classic has been cancelled for 2020.
    03.13.2020
    Earlier this evening, the City of Milwaukee has set their response to COVID-19 to tier 3 which includes the cancellation of large gatherings over 250 attendees. As a result of this action, we are no long able to hold the Midwest Gaming Classic as scheduled on April 3-5 and the show is canceled.

    The Midwest Gaming Classic exists because of people like you and we thank you for supporting us and our vision. We hope to continue building a community for gamers to share and celebrate the love of gaming with you. While we are devastated by the loss of this show for this year, the health and safety of everyone involved has remained our largest concern.

    We will communicate further information, including how to process refunds, as it becomes available. If you have purchased any items in advance, please watch your emails for direct updates.

    While we are disappointed that the show will not exist in 2020, we are excited to be able to return in 2021.

  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    Summer Games Done Quick is still set to occur June 21-28. I don't think many people from the forums attend since it is primarily a streaming event but thought I would update.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    Summer Games Done Quick is still set to occur June 21-28. I don't think many people from the forums attend since it is primarily a streaming event but thought I would update.

    Yeah... I'm surprised they haven't called something yet since it's a lot of people flying in, etc. Registration isn't open for a few weeks still, but...

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I assume they're just watching how things develop and hoping that the situation is in a place where it's feasible to do on some level. The final go/no-go for launch might have to come much closer to the next major milestone, like when registration is due to open.

    Stuff in late July/August (such as my beloved Gencon) seem to be doing the same; haven't cancelled yet, are watching state/medical professional suggestions, will update from there.

    I'm not super optimistic, but given the time, effort, and work put into these things, I can understand wanting to wait to make the call if there is time to do so.

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    Evo likewise hasn't cancelled yet, they're explicitly waiting and seeing if it's still necessary closer to august.

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  • MegafrostMegafrost Leader of the Decepticons Registered User regular
    edited March 27
    GDQ signs contracts with the hotels years in advance. They probably can't cancel or reschedule until the hotel allows it.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Megafrost wrote: »
    GDQ signs contracts with the hotels years in advance. They probably can't cancel or reschedule until the hotel allows it.

    Or, more specifically, the state shuts it down and the contract clauses let them off the hook.

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  • MegafrostMegafrost Leader of the Decepticons Registered User regular
    Ah here it is. SGDQ is now officially delayed to August 16-23: https://gamesdonequick.com/notice

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Pokemon has cancelled pretty much organized everything for 2020- "Pokémon events including League, Club, Prerelease, League Challenge, League Cup, Premier Challenge, and Midseason Showdown are canceled until further notice." This does include the 2020 North America International Championships (scheduled for June 26–28 in Columbus, Ohio) and the 2020 Pokémon World Championships (scheduled for August 14–16 in London, United Kingdom).

    Source: https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-news/2020-pokemon-championship-series-canceled/

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  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Rooster Teeth Expo or "RTX" is delaying their con. Originally slated for the July 4th weekend, new date has it over labor day weekend Sept 5-7. Existing badges will still be valid, and RTX sponsored hotel packages are being refunded.

    They kinda got pre-empted by the hotels sending out cancellation notices before they did, but here's the official twitter announcement.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Late to the party on this one as well. QuakeCon straight up cancelled this year. Twitter thread here:

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Apparently Gencon remains on for now. It is less than 4 months away, and Indiana has over 4,400 cases as of right now (according to the worldometers page a few minutes ago) with 127 dead. Obviously this remains subject to change in the weeks and months to come, but with an event of this size something will need to stick (to some degree) eventually.

    https://www.gencon.com/press/updates-gen-con-covid19
    Updated on April 3, 2020

    We have been closely following the current outbreak of COVID-19, and we know that our attendees and community are as concerned as we are about the virus and the uncertainty that comes with it.

    In light of announcements made by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, we want to assure our community that we are considering health guidelines from Indiana State officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as we monitor the situation and prepare for any contingencies.

    At this time, Gen Con 2020 is still scheduled for July 30 – August 2. If that changes, we will notify our community as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. We wish you health and safety, and we will continue to post updates to this page as the situation develops.

    GAMA has put together a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) locator page. Many games stores have begun offering alternate shopping experiences such as curbside pick-up or local delivery for purchased items, or have begun offering gift cards. We encourage you to use the tool to search for stores near you and support your local gaming community.

    I have been attending under the auspices of a board game company for the last few years, and while it would be awesome to work that booth again this year, at this point I'm expecting it to be cancelled, or at the very least see drastic limitations put upon it. It's an event that attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world. Some kind of limits on who can attend, stipulations on testing (I'm aware of the shenanigans with availability of tests, I'm projecting out to mid summer here and sure hope the US gets its shit together faster than that).

    Not to editorialize too heavily, but I thought I'd share that I'd noticed there was an update.

    Glancing at other big nerdy conventions in that part of the year, San Diego Comic Con is still hoping to meet a week or two earlier in the year than Gencon does. With over 15,000 cases identified in California (recognizing it is a massive state with a massive population), it will be interesting to see if they actually go ahead with that.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Origins is still on, too (final decision coming May 1st), but I'd more be looking at your big gaming companies individually, too. I mean, Organized Pokemon play had been pretty much shut down, so they won't be at any show- I imagine if Wizards of the Coast (based out of Seattle) and Paizo (ditto) don't show up, then you're not going to see much of anything to do there (no Pathfinder Society play, no D&D Adventurers' League, no Magic: the Gathering...)

    Can't have much of a convention of the retailers and big organized play people aren't there.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Yeah, it's my understanding that the GAMA trade show in Vegas shut down after a couple of big companies said they weren't showing. I'm not saying it's a 100% direct correlation, but it wouldn't surprise me if some big names bowing out was the last straw.

    Err, not to mention how things are actually going. Projecting this stuff out a month or a quarter isn't easy, but I think it's unlikely a lot of these things are happening, and they're just shuffling back to later dates or leaving 'we'll see' there in an abundance of hope.

    But realistically, even if somehow the US is past the peak in June or July, I can't see how cramming tens of thousands of people into a convention center will be a good idea, no matter how many masks and gloves you distribute, how many times you wipe down the door handles, game pieces, etc.

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  • Smaug6Smaug6 Registered User regular
    Working for an event company, earliest you will see anything is June if things go perfectly. July 1 is the real target

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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    edited April 11
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Origins is still on, too (final decision coming May 1st), but I'd more be looking at your big gaming companies individually, too. I mean, Organized Pokemon play had been pretty much shut down, so they won't be at any show- I imagine if Wizards of the Coast (based out of Seattle) and Paizo (ditto) don't show up, then you're not going to see much of anything to do there (no Pathfinder Society play, no D&D Adventurers' League, no Magic: the Gathering...)

    Speaking of which, Origins just got pushed back to October 7-11.

    On a side note, Wizards generally hasn't shown up to GenCon for years in favor of their own MagicFests, and their events are usually contracted out to a separate company.

    (I mean, why risk having your player base exposed to new games or ideas when you can keep them in their own closed garden 24/7?)

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    PMAvers wrote: »
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Origins is still on, too (final decision coming May 1st), but I'd more be looking at your big gaming companies individually, too. I mean, Organized Pokemon play had been pretty much shut down, so they won't be at any show- I imagine if Wizards of the Coast (based out of Seattle) and Paizo (ditto) don't show up, then you're not going to see much of anything to do there (no Pathfinder Society play, no D&D Adventurers' League, no Magic: the Gathering...)

    Speaking of which, Origins just got pushed back to October 7-11.

    On a side note, Wizards generally hasn't shown up to GenCon for years in favor of their own MagicFests, and their events are usually contracted out to a separate company.

    (I mean, why risk having your player base exposed to new games or ideas when you can keep them in their own closed garden 24/7?)

    To clarify:

    The physical con has been moved to Oct. 7 - 11. However, there will be an online con June 19-21.

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular


    Gamescom's canceled but will attempt to run a digital event instead

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  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    SDCC is cancelled
    The Indie Megabooth is done until the pandemic is over
    Gamescom looks to be cancelled, with details on digital events announcing in May
    EVO is going to be making announcements regarding 2020 soon
    Gen Con and the remaining PAXes (PAXen?) are still happening as scheduled

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular


    GDC's emergency backup summer event to replace the canceled conference will now be digital-only

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    EVO 2020 is cancelled, will attempt an online event instead

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  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    The International is delayed as well.
    After extensive consideration of the global health emergency stemming from COVID-19, we have made the difficult choice to delay The International. We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021. Given the highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions, virus trajectory, and global travel policies, we don’t expect to have enough confidence to communicate firm dates in the near future. In the meantime, we are working on restructuring the DPC season for the fall, and will be providing more information as soon as we have it.

    The 10th International prize pool will be funded by 25% of sales of the next Battle Pass, which we are planning to release soon instead of closer to the event itself. However, with our team working from home and things taking longer to complete, the release date of the Battle Pass will be at least a couple of weeks later than usual.

    We hope everyone in the Dota community is staying as safe as possible, and look forward to a time when we can once again welcome everyone to enjoy the spectacle of The International.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    2020 sucks.

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    GenCon might be cracking- as of the 30th, event registration and the release of the event catalog have been delayed.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Any news about PAX Unplugged?

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    PAX West had an update that it is occurring as scheduled for now, and given that’s the earliest PAX happening, I’d use that as a barometer for the others.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Someone is maintaining a list of North American conventions. It's not exhaustive (best I can tell, none of the PAXs are on there), and so far almost everyone is cancelled or pushed back until early July.

    My theory is that most of them are waiting to see the state of the world a month or so out, and also what their city/state/province/etc is allowing. For example, Toronto Fan Expo hasn't officially been cancelled (as far as I've seen), but events that attract 25,000+ individuals are cancelled until at least September, and FE happens in August.

    I think a lot of stuff that far out will remain on schedule until abruptly they aren't.

    Now, obviously there's going to be a difference in how things are handled for events that attract tens of thousands of people versus 'this small thing that literally whole dozens of people show up to', it's certainly not a perfect 1:1, but I suspect we'll see trends across the convention industry all the same.

    As profitable as some of these things are, nobody is going to want to be known as 'that thing that was open during a pandemic and then proved to be ground zero for the worst con crud body count in the history of nerd cons'.

    Some are presumed to basically have to be making a good faith effort to go forward due to contractual obligations, essentially waiting for force majeure/'act of god' clauses to kick in and either help out with insurance, or allow them to bail on contracts/obligations that would be otherwise prohibitively costly to incur.

    According to some articles I've read, Gencon (as an example) brings in something like $60 million USD to Indianapolis, between hotels being booked for miles, restaurants being filled to an hour+ waiting time, and countless other benefits. Obviously there's a financial incentive in play, but I do have faith that the convention team will make the right call for the safety of the community (gamers and the city alike).

    I think we'll start seeing more events (large and small) start admitting defeat in the next few weeks. The real question will be how far out that wave will carry before we're left waiting patiently for the next round of them to pack up for the year (or push back to the fall/winter, where possible, but even that might just be kicking the can down the road).

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    I agree. I mean, how feasible are some of those backup plans?

    Take Origins, for example. With the physical game fair now in October (if it happens at all) you're going to see it split between three days of kind of light play (Wed/Thurs for sure, maybe Fri) and then just getting hammered Sat/Sun once the local kids are off from school. Not to mention, if college football goes on as scheduled, rooms are going to be at a freaking premium, especially Friday night, because Origins is in Columbus, OH, and so is Ohio State, and the weekend they've selected to make up Origins... is an OSU home game. So that's going to be a mess.

    Honestly, I just don't see it happening this year. It's not safe enough to go to a big convention, and it's just going to take one contagious jackass and everyone's going to have a bad time.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    To extrapolate further out, even if the person isn't infected at the convention, the effort of traveling to and from these events exposes many people to risk as well. Airports seem to be taking this much more seriously, and many countries may continue to restrict unnecessary air travel, but not everyone will be driving down one person or household to a vehicle.

    The other side of it is the question of how low a turnout can such events have and remain profitable enough to justify both running the normal expenses (even if the venues cut them a deal due to nothing else happening in that time frame) and the extra costs involved in heightened cleaning efforts, reduced revenue from turnout/merch potentially, event tickets, etc.

    Like, if the event expects 50,000 people to show up across a few days, but 10,000 do, sure, physical distancing is less of an issue, but if they needed 20,000 minimum daily tickets sold to make up even normal expenses, that's going to be a problem. I admit, I have no idea what margins these cons run on, but I doubt it's 'hand over fist' kind of cash, so a 1/2 turnout due to reduced interest and perhaps negligible international attendance could make even proceeding for contractual/financial reasons something of a Pyrrhic victory (and that's before the risk of it becoming known as ground zero, likely suppressing interest/attendance/finances for years to come).

    Honestly, it would be nice if some more cities/states just said 'wtf? No, no you cannot have your gathering, try again in 2021'. If some contracts require it to be out of their hands, then make it so and take the matter off everyone's plate.

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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular


    Essen SPIEL (aka “the largest table top convention in the world”) got pushed back to 2021.

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  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    GenCon has now been officially canceled for this year.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    To extrapolate further out, even if the person isn't infected at the convention, the effort of traveling to and from these events exposes many people to risk as well. Airports seem to be taking this much more seriously, and many countries may continue to restrict unnecessary air travel, but not everyone will be driving down one person or household to a vehicle.

    The other side of it is the question of how low a turnout can such events have and remain profitable enough to justify both running the normal expenses (even if the venues cut them a deal due to nothing else happening in that time frame) and the extra costs involved in heightened cleaning efforts, reduced revenue from turnout/merch potentially, event tickets, etc.

    Like, if the event expects 50,000 people to show up across a few days, but 10,000 do, sure, physical distancing is less of an issue, but if they needed 20,000 minimum daily tickets sold to make up even normal expenses, that's going to be a problem. I admit, I have no idea what margins these cons run on, but I doubt it's 'hand over fist' kind of cash, so a 1/2 turnout due to reduced interest and perhaps negligible international attendance could make even proceeding for contractual/financial reasons something of a Pyrrhic victory (and that's before the risk of it becoming known as ground zero, likely suppressing interest/attendance/finances for years to come).

    Honestly, it would be nice if some more cities/states just said 'wtf? No, no you cannot have your gathering, try again in 2021'. If some contracts require it to be out of their hands, then make it so and take the matter off everyone's plate.

    That puts it better than I could have. I'm a volunteer for RTX in Texas this year and I'm really concerned about them sticking with their scheduled date over the labor day weekend. I have to make a decision soon to book tickets/hotels and whatnot, but I just can't seem to see this going away any time soon.

  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    https://blizzcon.com/en-gb/news/23434523

    Blizzcon 2020 is cancelled.

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