Coronavirus: E3 video game conference canceled

Precautions over the coronavirus have spread to the gaming world.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video game industry's biggest annual event, was canceled Wednesday because of concerns about the novel coronavirus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The E3, as the massive conference is popularly called, had been scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

In a statement, Entertainment Software Association said the event was canceled "after careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry."

"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 association said in its statement. "We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it's the right decision based on the information we have today.

The Entertainment Software Association also said it would contact exhibitors and attendees regarding “full refunds.”

Meanwhile, Xbox, Ubisoft and Limited Run Games confirmed plans to either explore or host their own digital events, Gamespot.com reported.

The cancellation of the E3 is the latest large event to be canceled because of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, organizers of the Coachella music festival in southern California postponed this year's event to late October. The annual South by Southwest music and technology festival in Austin, Texas, was canceled for the first time in 34 years.

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