Tokyo Game Show 2020 Still Happening — Online, That Is!

 Tokyo Game Show 2020 (TGS2020), the mecca event for video game lovers in Japan which was scheduled for September 24-27, 2020, is officially cancelled.

 

The organizers of the event — Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) and Nikkei Business Publications Inc., and Dentsu Inc. — officially announced the decision in a press release on Friday, May 8.

 

The organizers, in the online press release, explained the decision: 

 

Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on a global scale and the situation remains unpredictable in Japan as well, the organizer and the co-organizers have reached this decision after a long consideration to place the utmost priority on the health and safety of visitors, exhibitors and stakeholders. We ask for your kind understanding and cooperation.

 

Fans React on Social Media

 

Fans, however, need not completely despair, since the plan is to hold the event online.

 

The fan reaction in fact reflected the double-edged sword of the announcement. Many commented that they were sad about cancellation of the live event.

 

 

But others said that they were looking forward to the online event.

 

 

 

TGS in Japan has a long history going back to 1996. It has attracted more than a quarter million people to Makuhari Messe in Chiba prefecture for the live event every year since 2013. The highest number of visitors to date was just under 300,000 people, with the record 298,690 people attending the show over four days in 2018.

 

2019 saw 262,062 fans making it through the gates, reflecting the popularity of both the video games and side events in Japan. (RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Biggest Previews at Tokyo Game Show 2019)

 

 

Cosplay and Other Side Events

 

Tokyo Game Show is unique as far as video game events go because it spans four days. The first two days are dedicated to business and media, and the following two days ー with side events ー are open to everyone. 

 

Cosplay during the last two days of the Tokyo Game Show is always a major highlight of the event. 

 

Hundreds of people make their way to Makuhari Messe to compete or simply showcase their elaborate costumes and makeup with fellow aficionados. 

 

Questions remain on how this and other parts of TGS2020 will take shape online.

 

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Impacts Around the World

 

Other video-gaming events around the world have also been affected by COVID-19. E3, set to take place in Los Angeles in early June, was cancelled earlier this year on March 11. 

 

Big announcements later in the year include the release of Cyberpunk 2077 in October and the highly anticipated release of new consoles for the holiday season. TGS2020 was expected to ride that wave. 

 

As IGN Japan commented in an article on May 8, “With the upcoming release of PS5 [by Sony Entertainment] and Xbox Series X [by Microsoft] expected for the end of the year, we can surely say this was a difficult decision to take.” 

 

 

Author: Arielle Busetto

 

Arielle Busetto

Author:

Arielle Busetto is a journalist at JAPAN Forward. She has finished the intensive Japanese course of the Inter University Center For Advanced Japanese Studies in Yokohama in summer 2018, and is originally from Siena, Italy.

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