If you were on gaming social media from roughly 8pm to 10pm ET on July 2, 2020, you may have seen Evo Online collapse in real time. As we’ve already reported, allegations made against Evo head Joey Cuellar for sexual misconduct led to the eventual cancellation of Evo Online. Cuellar was initially placed on leave pending an investigation, but soon after Cuellar himself responded and several sponsors, publishers, hosts, and participants dropped out, the decision was made to replace him and cancel the event for the year. While it’s admirable so many companies pulled out even before the cancellation, this does leave a big hole in marketing plans. Bandai Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada commented on the situation as it was happening, wondering out loud and asking fans if Twitch streaming would be a good idea.
Many plans have been delayed or blown away this year.
I (we) wanted to talk about various things with the community, but the opportunities are steadily diminishing.
Should I start streaming on Twitch?
— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) July 3, 2020
Regardless of whether or not Harada actually is seriously considering Twitch streaming, this is important to highlight because of the circumstances. On top of so many changed plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re now seeing plans forced to change due to a very different kind of problem. Evo is a huge deal in the community, and publishers often use it to announce things like new characters, new features, and sometimes even new games.
Putting together marketing materials and presentations takes a lot of time and effort, and while Bandai Namco does have a different showcase coming up, it will be interesting to see how much new planned for Evo ends up trickling out elsewhere over time.