CCP put up a notice today that they are cancelling EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik this year due to concerns with the spread of COVID-19, the Coronavirus.
The short statement reads as follows:
In light of the recent and ongoing global developments surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s Fanfest event in Reykjavik, Iceland.
It is with a heavy heart that we make this decision, and we know this news will be disappointing to our wonderful community, but we feel absolutely compelled to follow the most responsible course of action and prioritize the safety and well-being of our attendees, our staff and of course the general Icelandic public.
We realize that the situation a month from now could be very different, but the way events are developing both globally and in Iceland’s neighboring countries, an in-depth and serious review has made it clear that this is a necessary step to take.
We wanted to get this information to you as swiftly as possible in order to allow you to make the necessary changes to any travel or accommodation arrangements that you may have made. We will be providing further details over the course of the next few weeks, so please keep an eye on all EVE Online social media channels for these updates.
If we all just stay in our capsules we won’t spread the disease. While it has not been mentioned, I suspect that CCP will come up with some sort of virtual FanFest to be streamed. I am sure they have a bunch of announcements planned.
There is also no word on other events, like EVE Russia or the player planned EVE Vegas, though the latter is far enough out in the future, and on the far side of summer when viruses tend to abate, that it may see no impact.
This is not the first issue with events due to the COVID-19. Both GDC in San Francisco and PAX East in Boston have had a number of big companies pull out due to fears about spreading the virus. This has led to a few people complaining… I’ve seen people calling out companies for being afraid of this particular virus, comparing it to a head cold, and the mayor of Boston asked companies to reconsider… but for most it is a case of better safe than sorry.
The tone of caution sounded by healthcare professionals was amplified greatly by the US CDC putting out a updated warning about COVID-19 this week. (latest information here) That has rightly put people on their guard. You cannot find a N95 mask for love or money right now, and the possible economic impact of the virus will continue to ripple for quite a while.