The organisers of the Nordic Game (NG20) event have confirmed they are pivoting to a “flexible format” for the upcoming show scheduled for May in Malmö, Sweden, but says they have no plans to cancel or postpone it at this time.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation says it has been “compelled to take action out of concern for both our attendees and partners” but stated cancelling “would be disappointing many of our friends in the industry”. Therefore, the show is going ahead and “will strictly adhere to best-practice health precautions”.
“We have organised the Nordic Game conference and exhibition each May for sixteen years, so feel that we would be disappointing many of our friends in the industry if we were to cancel or postpone our event this spring,” the organisers said in a press statement. “But in light of the worsening situation in Europe and the US, as well as anticipated restrictions on large public gatherings in Sweden for two months or more, we have been compelled to take action out of concern for both our attendees and partners.
“After much deliberation, we have decided to continue with our May event in a flexible format, with the portions of the current speaker program that can be streamed to be available online, as well as optional remote business meetings for those NG20 pass holders who can’t be with us in person.”
If the show does not proceed in May, NG20+ is scheduled for November 20-21st, 2020, also in Malmö, Sweden. All NG20 pass holders and partners will be able to participate in both events “at no extra cost”, “with partner brands and messaging promoted at both events this year”.
Nordic Game 2020 is the “one and only home turf meeting place” for developers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Less than a week ago, organisers of E3 – the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – insisted it was continuing to “plan for a safe and successful” show later this year whilst “actively assessing” the coronavirus outbreak. Now E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events, and Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) has also been indefinitely postponed, and while attendees can expect a refund in full and those who had made hotel reservations via the organisation will be able to cancel without penalty, developers who’ve arranged their own accommodation might still be open to cancellation fees. A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC.
Kojima Productions, Sony, EA, and Facebook – which owns Oculus – first pulled out of GDC, as did Microsoft, Epic, and Unity. The city of San Francisco – the city that was set to host the upcoming GDC conference next month – had also declared a “local health emergency” over coronavirus. A state of emergency has also be declared in Los Angeles.
BAFTA has confirmed it’s revising the format on its upcoming Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too. In a brief statement to press the organisers said the show would change from a “red carpet ceremony” to an online livestream broadcast on the same day as the original live show: Thursday, April 2nd, 2020.