Yen Press announced on Friday that it is rescheduling the print and digital releases of several volumes of manga and light novels due to the impact of COVID-19. The company is refraining from announcing September releases. Titles scheduled for April will ship as planned, but volumes originally scheduled for release from May to August will be distributed through September. The publisher is reducing its planned releases for the coming months.
Other North American manga licensing, publishing, and distribution companies recently announced similar delays. Sol Press announced on Twitter on Wednesday that the company has halted all physical production. Dark Horse Comics announced on March 25 that it will reduce the number of its releases in the coming months, and that it will allow return of periodicals up to 90 days after the on-sale date. Meanwhile, Viz Media said it plans to continue to print and ship manga and other book releases through Simon & Schuster to bookstores and online retailers. Digital Manga Inc. announced on Tuesday that "all aspects" of its Wonder 3 Kickstarter campaign are delayed. Comic book distributor Diamond Comic Distributors is halting all shipments to retailers of products slated for release on or after April 1 until further notice.
In addition, CAPCOM announced on Thursday that an employee of its group companies has tested positive for COVID-19. The company is reviewing the employee's movements to determine who came into close contact with the employee, and it is considering ordering the affected employees to stay home. The company is also disinfecting the office areas where the infected employee works.
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Friday that nine additional events in its Tekken World Tour 2020 and two additional events in its SoulCalibur World Tour 2020 are "removed from tour until further notice." The company initially announced the rescheduling of two qualifier rounds in each tour on March 6.
The organizers of the "LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE!! UNIT LIVE ADVENTURE 2020 AZALEA First LOVE LIVE! ~Amazing Travel DNA~" concerts announced on Friday that the concerts have been rescheduled for June 3 and 4 at Xebio Arena Sendai in Sendai, Miyagi. The organizers had announced on February 26 that the concerts originally scheduled for March 7 and 8 were canceled. The franchise's "Aqours Back In First Love Live! ~Step! ZERO to ONE~" concerts and smartphone game events were also canceled.
The organizers of the "Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side DAYS 2020 Tokimeki Taiikusai" event announced on Friday that the event is postponed due to the impact of the new coronavirus. Konami's website will announce a new date in the future, but the event may be canceled rather than postponed. The event was originally scheduled for June 13 and 14 at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on March 11 that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Thursday, the WHO reported that there are 896,450 infected individuals worldwide. 45,525 individuals have died from the disease.
As of Thursday, the WHO reported that Japan has 2,384 cases of COVID-19 with 57 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths.
Sources: Press release, email correspondence, Capcom, Love Live! franchise's website via Yaraon!, Konami, 4Gamer (Bashō)