Organizers of the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) have confirmed the cancellation of this year’s event following an outbreak of COVID-19 that has sent the city of Sydney and surrounding areas into indefinite lockdown.
The Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) announced late Tuesday that it was left with no choice but to cancel AGE for the second year running with almost 200 cases of community transmission reported in the past two days alone and lockdown measures expected to be extended for as much as a further two months.
There have been 767 community COVID-19 cases reported since a limousine driver who transported airline crew tested positive on 16 June, sparking the outbreak.
“Given the proximity to the AGE, border closures and the unknown restrictions of the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, we needed to act now,” said Chris Muir, CEO of the GTA.
“We have not forgotten the heightened risk that this Delta variant poses for everyone at this time.”
The GTA said it had received strong support from exhibitors keen to showcase their products but was unable to find alternative dates for AGE later in 2021 due to the event’s size. It will instead return from 9 to 11 August 2022.
“We’ve seen significant initiatives from AGE exhibitors over the last eighteen months as they support businesses with technology and physical distancing measures,” said Muir. “We’ll continue to connect buyers with sellers as our industry once again begins its road to recovery.”