Swine Flu Keeps Japanese Staff of Square & Koei Away From E3

Two more video game publishers have pulled their Japanese employees out of the upcoming E3 Expo in Los Angeles due to concerns over swine flu.

Develop reports that Square Enix and Koei join Capcom in withholding Japanese employees from the highly-anticipated show:

Square Enix has cancelled plans for its Kingdom Hearts team to attend the show, whilst Koei has confirmed that an unspecified number of its Japanese employees will not be travelling to the event…

However, like Capcom, both publishers will be represented at E3 by U.S. and European staffers. According to Develop, neither Sony nor Nintendo plan to withhold employees due to swine flu.

AFP reported this morning that there are 281 confirmed cases in Japan, although most are mild. There have been no deaths attributed to the virus in Japan so far and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso urged the public to be calm.

Via: gamebizblog

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  1. 0
    Alyric says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean.

    There’s been, what? 84ish deaths world-wide from swine flu? Compared to over 13,000 deaths from the regular flu since January 2009 in the U.S. alone.

    The (granted, few) people who were pushing for mandatory swine flu vaccinations must not have opened their history books to the 70’s… when vaccinations against the swine flu paralyzed over 30 people and killed hundreds – more, in fact, than the actual swine flu killed.

  2. 0
    Wormdundee says:

     It’s not just Japanese people though. I hate to generalize, but Asian countries seem far more likely to go about wearing those surgical masks even when there’s pretty much zero risk. For example, I live in a Canadian city that is 50%+ Chinese. When SARS came around, it was only the Chinese people wearing the masks. Even though the nearest case of SARS was somewhere around 300 KM away. Not sure what it is, I guess they’re just very conscientious about germs and whatnot.

    Anyway, about the article. I wish that this swine flu thing would finally die. Noone’s talking about it in the news here anymore. You know why? Because it’s so mild and unthreatening that it’s impossible to sensationalize it. I guess these companies are still effected by the ridiculous media circus.

  3. 0
    Arell says:

    You have to understand that the Japanese (in general) are a bit squeemish when it comes to illness and germs.  I mean, these are people that commonly wear surgical masks in public just because they have the sniffles.  They’re probably worried that their teams will get sick at E3 and then come home to infect everyone around them.

  4. 0
    Girricane says:

    It’s not like they’re trying to prevent the spread to their respective countries either.

    Unless both companies are staffed by children and old folks, I really don’t see why they’re so worried.  Maybe they have really bad health insurance?

  5. 0
    DeusPayne says:

    So, we’ve moved passed pointless hysteria, and have come to the understanding that h1n1 is LESS seriously than normal, run of the mill flu, and most people who get it, don’t even need normal anti-viral treatment, as it passes before the drugs would end up taking effect. I guess Square and Koei didn’t get the memo…

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