Fortress Melbourne closed indefinitely due to COVID-19

LESS than a week after its official opening, Melbourne e-sports centre Fortress Melbourne has shut its doors to the public.

In an official announcement from co-founders Jon Satterley and Adrian Giles on the establishment’s website, they said they believed the closure to be the socially responsible action in the current climate for protecting the health of the team and patrons.

“While we have implemented several social distancing strategies and reinforced our cleaning efforts and hygiene protocols, the state of the global situation goes directly against our mission to bring live social gameplay to Australia,” they said.

“To date, there have been no confirmed cases within the Fortress team or patrons. However, we are taking this precautionary measure in the best interests of the community.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and excitement Melbourne has shown us since we’ve opened. We cannot wait to reopen our doors once we’ve all made it safely through this challenging time.

“For those who have supported us in purchasing memberships, we will be placing payments on hold, and you will not be charged until we reopen.”

While the premises will be closed, the venue will be making use of its website and social platforms to keep in touch with its supporters, and the co-founders have said the closure is intended to be temporary.

“Many of us will be looking for ways to stay connected with our friends and family, and Fortress will be looking for ways that we can use our technology to help bring people together,” their statement said.

“We thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.”

The COVID-19 virus has been wreaking havoc on the games industry at home and abroad, with events ranging from E3 and Mobile World Congress to The Lizzies gaming awards cancelled over public health concerns as governments restrict or ban large-scale gatherings and encourage people to stay home instead.