Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter devoted to covering how the rapidly expanding coronavirus pandemic is impacting the global entertainment industry. Whether it’s the movie industry, television production, the gaming world or any other part of the entertainment world, we’ll be covering it all in this daily free newsletter.
As we ramp this up, you’ll find exclusive coverage, original interviews, links to our recent coverage on AllYourScreens as well as links and highlights of the best reporting from around the world. The daily newsletter should go out in the very early morning hours, giving you a heads-up on what you need to know about how the coronavirus is impacting the world of entertainment.
A Third Disney Resort To Close Due To Coronavirus Fears
Japan's Tokyo Disney Resort will close its doors from at least Saturday, Feb. 29 to March 15. According to the Oriental Land Co., the operator and majority owner of the resort, the decision was made in part because the Japanese government has requested a two-week suspension of all public events in the country beginning this weekend.
Hong Kong Disneyland and the Shanghai Disney Resort have been closed since late January due to the epidemic. A big question is what might happen at Disneyland Paris. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases doubled in France on Thursday and French President Emmanuel Macron told the public yesterday the country is facing a “crisis.” Given that, it will be interesting to see whether France will be forced to follow the lead of other countries that have moved to limit public gatherings.
K-Pop Superstar Group BTS Cancels April Concerts In Seoul
The South Korean boy band BTS cancelled four shows in Seoul, which were set to take place April 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th at the city’s massive Olympic Stadium. Promoters said that all of the nearly 200,000 people who had already purchased tickets to the concerts will receive full refunds.
Green Day Postpones Asian Tour Dates
The rock trio Green Day announced late Thursday it is cancelling the Asian portion of its current world tour, which was set to promote the band’s new album “Father of All Motherf–kers” beginning next week. In a statement, the band said the decision “sucked,” but urged fans to hold on to tickets because the dates will be rescheduled. Postponed dates include shows in Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo. There is no word yet on whether the coronavirus epidemic will force the band to postpone the European leg of the tour, which is set to begin in Moscow in early May.
Epic Games, Microsoft Are Latest Pull Out Of Game Developers Conference
The upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco is one of the biggest events in the gaming industry, drawing nearly 30,000 visitors to last year’s event. But ongoing COVID19 concerns have led to some major game developers deciding to skip this year’s conference.
On Thursday, a number of companies announced they were canceling their participation, including Facebook, Microsoft, Epic Games & Unreal Engines, Unity, Sony, EA, Kowloon Nightsand Kojima Productions. At the same time, the GDC also announced that 10 companies from China won’t be attending this year.
GDC organizers insist the conference will go on March 16th-20th as planned, but with more than half of the major participants canceling their participation, I would not be surprised to see this decision reversed at some point.
As It Turns Out, Pandemics Are Not A Game
A popular mobile game that encouraged players to create a virus and then spread it around the world has been pulled from the App Store in China. The Verge is reporting the game “Plague Inc” has been pulled following complaints from the Chinese Government:
”We’ve just been informed that Plague Inc. ‘includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China’ and has been removed from the China App Store,” said Ndemic Creations, the game’s developers, in a blog post announcing the game’s removal. “This situation is completely out of our control.”
”Plague Inc.” remains available for download outside Mainland China and is currently the top paid game on the U.S. iOS app store.
Odds And Sods
The finals of the Intel Extreme Masters Computer Games World Cup in Poland will take place without an audience on site after the regional governor decided to revoke its permit due to coronavirus fears.
The CEO of Churchill Downs Inc. said on Thursday that the organization is “monitoring” the coronavirus situation, but so far sees no need to cancel the 2020 Kentucky Derby, set to take place May 2nd in Louisville, Ky. The race typically attracts about 150,000 people to the city.
The National Symphony Orchestra has canceled next week’s tour to Japan, which was to include five concerts with Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai in Fukui, Sakai, Hiroshima and Tokyo. A spokesperson for the orchestra said the decision was made after the Japanese Prime Minister ordered all public events and gatherings to be canceled for at least the next two weeks. The Orchestra had previously canceled three concerts that were set to take place in China later in March.
The U.K. reality series “Dancing On Ice” has apparently beefed up its medical team in response to COVID-19 concerns. Associate Creative Director Dan Whiston told The Sun the production has also added extra hand santisers and other measures on set to help protect the health of the skaters and the show’s two hosts.
See you tomorrow.