In January right in between the Chinese New Year, China reported the first batch of cases of Coronavirus, an unknown virus that is highly contagious and is spreading rapidly due to which the government had to close down more than 25 cities. As the number of reported cases saw a sharp rise daily, the whole world was shocked and confused. The Chinese government ensured that the virus was contained, but recently more than 48 countries in the world have reported cases of Coronavirus outbreak. With more than 85000 cases of illness and a staggering 3000 deaths, the whole world is on a high alert and governments around the world have issued travel warnings and restrictions on public gatherings.
Just last week we reported about several Esports and Gaming events being postponed indefinitely or being cancelled outright. The spread of the virus has already cost the world economy to drop down to levels of 2008 slowdown and even modern industries such as Esports and Gaming, that leverage streaming, online product launches, and online tournament format is affected.
The spread of the virus has caused events of various scales like GDC to be postponed or IEM Katowice forced to close doors and not allow spectators in the arena, to some small-scaled leagues such as PUBG Global Series (PGS) Berlin, APAC Grand Final, LCK, etc being cancelled, the gaming industry as a whole have suffered huge losses. The Gaming industry, as well as the Esports industry to date, have shown tremendous growth, but the loss in revenue and audience might lead slowdown in the growth for the first time in more than a decade.
With the losses piling up expect to see some events being scaled back or companies changing their plans which might result in 2020 being the slowest year with the number of game-centric products and events sharply going down.
The future is not as gloomy as the sentences above might sound. We might see companies adopt some new innovative ways of engaging with the target audience and since summers are close, the spread of the virus will also be limited as the virus can’t survive in a hot environment.