E3 canceled: Here is what we know so far

Tech Industry
[SOUND] I want to talk about the big story today and that is E3 potentially being canceled. We've got reports our sister site, GameSpot, has reported that the video game conference in Los Angeles is set to be canceled. But this is just the latest in a series of conferences, conferences and public events that have been canceled over concerns about coronavirus. Now, Laura, it's fortuitous that you're here because you actually attended one of the few conferences that went on despite the concerns. That is the RSA security conference. The one that happened to actually have someone with coronavirus attend. So I share some of your perspective on that like, and why it's important for some of these conferences to be canceled. Yeah, so at the time of the RSA conference, there hadn't been any community transmitted cases in San Francisco. It didn't seem like it was an issue in San Francisco. But of course when you bring, 10,20, 30 thousand people into the same place from all over the world That increases the chances of transmission and that seems to be what happened that according to Bloomberg, one of the people who had Covid 19, while at the conference got sick on the last day of the conference in and had to be put into a medically induced coma more recently, so it was quite serious. So knowing that someone at the conference was you know, just about to be symptomatic. That's Pretty worrying when I look back. [LAUGHS] And I'm pretty sure that everyone who attended the conference is also, you know, reassuring themselves. I know I wash my hands a lot. I know it's unlikely that I contacted this one person, but it's still pretty disconcerting to know that that possibility is out there. Absolutely. I think when [INAUDIBLE] congress that phone trade show in Barcelona they It got cancelled, there were a lot of critics who said this is a bit of an over reaction, I think a lot of folks who made the decision and pulled the trigger on cancelling these conferences are probably breathing a sigh of relief knowing that, like the worst case scenario pretty much happened at RSA, so You can imagine this is gonna continue to be a thing. Conferences like Google IO are being cancelled. Apples WWDC is just a few months, we don't know what's going on with that. But I suspect that will gonna get cancelled as well. So it's, yeah, it's the sort of latest in the strain. Just bringing back to the sort of video game role. E3, there were some questions about sort of value E3 as it were. Where Sony had already. Said they were planning to pull out of the conference completely to give their PlayStation 5 a bit more of it's own limelight. And Microsoft has always kind of traditionally held a separate event. And so Google had a big presence it will stay in there last year. But it wasn't actually at the show, it was sort of off site. So. There's been a lot of questions about the value of E three even before the corona virus conserves hit but obviously paired with these fears and just sort of the need to be cautious about things it does make a lot of sense for E three to go get cancelled. So- Those are the huge impacts of this disease that, Not only are people really getting sick and it's scary to see you know whether or not we can contain it but there's this huge economic impact on businesses that are canceling these major events. Coming in, we have some questions about E3. From our live audience. Timothy says any canceled major conferences will definitely affect the local economy. Will this make companies change the meaning of a conference and move towards that kind of virtual conference and being that it's gaming? How many do we think we're going to try to jump ship and do ARVR streaming? AR VR streaming, I think we're ways off from that just because, if they stream in AR VR, the audience for that would be so tiny it wouldn't really be worth it right now. But I do agree that remote streaming will probably be an option. And all this, if nothing else, this is really pushing folks to Want to work remotely and to for companies looking to to make announcements or have a big presence at a conference really look at web streaming live streaming options for make for disseminating their announcements. So I suspect you know, if Microsoft was expected to share a lot more news on series x, we're expecting details of that. I suspect Microsoft will still want to share those details. They'll just be through a different medium Through some sort of online [UNKNOWN]. They were already doing this stuff online anyway, but they're probably just gonna focus a lot more of their resources into making that presentation as really palatable for online viewers as opposed to folks on th ground, so a lot mor of that. I think there's gonna be a lot more thinking that's gonna go into that presentation. And in that same mindset, do we think this is gonna have longer-term implications? Are we gonna see More and more splinter conferences where maybe instead of having a giant EA three we see more Nintendo directs or it's you know with Sony do that kinda thing. We've seen this starting to happen. Like here at CNET and roadshow, we covered the Geneva Auto Show which got canceled and then every automaker went and broke out and did their own individual stream because it's not that hard to do. The technology's there. Do we think that that's going to be kind of a new trend set going forward in lieu of these? You know, hopefully we don't spend the rest of our lives in an epidemic. But you know, who knows Right yeah, no, i think that's something companies are going to seriously consider the biggies like Sony, they can afford to go out and have their own event. They're going to hold a PlayStation five events sometime later this year. People gonna show up guaranteed, right? I think it's more of the smaller publishers, the independent game makers that would need something like E3 as a platform for them to make their announcements, right? Cuz that's what brings in the crowds. So there's still some value to having these conferences, but I agree, like some of these bigger companies We'll start thinking more seriously about whether or not to do more of this stuff online. Like you said, Nintendo already does it with Nintendo Direct. You know, they've always had a token presence at EA three, but it hasn't really been a legit one. I they do most of their announcements online or live streamed. Yeah, it'd be interesting just to see where this trend kind of does take us but thanks, everybody for your input on the topic. Hopefully we'll have some more definitive answers and coverage and Figure out how many of these streams that we're gonna have to break out here at Siena just to pick them up all over again.

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