EVE Online’s annual Fanfest event is the latest in a string of video game-related events to be negatively impacted by the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus. EVE developer CCP Games announced today that the event, scheduled to take place April 2 through 4, would be canceled due to concerns of the spread of the virus.
EVE Fanfest was to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland. Held annually since 2004, it typically plays host to thousands of players from all over the planet.
“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,” CCP said in a statement.
CCP is far from the first game company to abruptly change its plans due to the looming danger of a potential global pandemic. Microsoft, Epic, and Unity recently announced that they would not be attending or hosting booths at next month’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, adding to the list of companies that have already stated they would not be there. Last week Sony announced that it would have no presence at PAX East this year, despite having several titles releasing in the next few months.
With the Fanfest dates only a little over a month away, and some players have expressed concerns on Reddit that they are already past the point of being able to refund their plane tickets or hotel expenses. Some have even said that they plan to take the trip despite the cancellation and hang out with whoever shows up.
“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,” CCP said.