The Pokemon Company Cancels Multiple Events in Japan Over Coronavirus Fears

While Pokemon Day has given franchise fans a lot to be excited about, the threat of Coronavirus has resulted in some less than joyful news for fans in Japan. As a result of the virus, The Pokemon Company has cancelled a handful of events at Pokemon Center locations throughout the country. The stores themselves will remain open, but mascot meet-and-greets, workshops, and more will be postponed for the foreseeable future. TCG events have not been cancelled yet, but they will likely face the same fate. Japan has closed schools through the month of March because of Coronavirus concerns, so clearly keeping children away from well-occupied areas remains a focus in the country.

The cancellations are certainly unfortunate for fans, but if these measures help to stop or slow the spread of the virus, it can only be a good thing. As more video game companies make similar decisions, the short-term impact will hurt businesses, but it's impossible to stress just how important these moves could prove in the long-term. Coronavirus represents a major threat to those with weakened immune systems, and events where there are going to be a lot of people in attendance could put people at increased risk. Japan has had 200 patients with the disease, as of this writing.

Coronavirus remains an ever-present concern for the video game industry, particularly given the number of publishers and developers headquartered throughout Asia, where the disease has hit hardest. However, companies throughout the world seem to be taking extra precautions as well. Earlier today, Epic Games announced they would not be attending Game Developers Conference this year, citing concerns over employee safety. Sony made a similar announcement for PAX East this weekend. With a number of major industry events slated for the next few months, it seems quite likely that more publishers will begin to pull-out over similar safety concerns.

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Pokemon Center events might be cancelled for the foreseeable future, but franchise fans still have plenty to look forward to in the coming days. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is slated to arrive on Nintendo Switch next week. The game will release globally on March 6th.

Do you think The Pokemon Company is making the right call by cancelling these events? Should more video game companies take similar precautions? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

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