This year has been rough, but the novel coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon. In Japan, for example, next February’s in-person Japan Amusement Expo has been canceled.
Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) is the industry event to show off the latest arcade hardware—as Siliconera points out, it’s the arcade equivalent of the Tokyo Game Show. Considering not only the proximity of event attendees but also that they would be touching the same arcade cabinets, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
As Siliconera reports, the Japanese arcade industry’s magazine summed up reasons why the physical event is being canned:
It is hard to think that the novel coronavirus will subside by February 2021, and it is also extremely unclear whether an exhibition event with an uncertain amount of visitors from both inside and outside Japan can be held.
Even if the event were to be held, it would be required to conduct thorough measures to prevent the infection from spreading in the venue—including gathering contact information from all visitors.
There are more companies which answered that they won’t be able to attend, compared to those that are able to.
Even if the event were held, there would be only around 100 booths, which was about one-fifth of the previous Japan Amusement Expo. Considering all the precautions needed to prevent spread in the venue, holding the in-person show would have a greater cost burden.
4Gamer reports that JAEPO’s organizers are now mulling over the possibility of holding a virtual expo, much akin to this year’s online Tokyo Game Show.