PlayStation, Facebook Gaming, and Oculus will not attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 because of the outbreak of coronavirus. GDC 2020 will start from 16th March to 20th March in San Francisco, California.
Sony told GamesIndustry.biz that they had made their difficult decision by canceling their participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing of COVID-19, i.e., Coronavirus. They further added that they feel disappointed while canceling their participation, but the health and safety of the global workforce is their deepest concern. They also look forward to participating in GDC in the future.
Facebook also published an official statement related to this matter. A Facebook spokesperson said that for the health and safety of their employees, they would not attend GDC this year as the risk of COVID-19 is increasing.
Oculus has to still make online announcements with Q&A sessions. The spokesperson said that they are planning to share the exciting announcements that they had planned for the show by videos, online Q&As, and more. Also, they are planning to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks.
Organizers of the GDC event have taken different measures for the attendees, such as the use of disinfecting electrostatic sprayers in high-traffic areas, frequent cleaning in all common areas. Also, they are increasing hand sanitizer stations, daily carpet sanitization to ensure safety.
The GSMA organizers of MWC 2020 is also taking similar pro-active measures to prevent any potential impact of coronavirus. However, they have to cancel the event as all leading brands are not coming to the event. It might be possible that the event could get canceled as the major players in the gaming segment, like PlayStation and Oculus, are not coming.
Update 1 (26th February 2020, 10:42 am)
PUBG Corp and EA have also taken out their name from the PAX East or GDC because of coronavirus. Both companies have the same reason, i.e., the health of their employees. GameSpot, PUBG Corp said that they would reschedule their plan of Happy Hour event at PAX East when the coronavirus will be under control, and travel will be back to normal.
EA said about GDC 2020 that because of the global situation with coronavirus and the increasing of cases in new regions, they have decided to take the steps back to protect their employees. They are continuously watching the situation and will give the call to their employees as they feel appropriate.
Update 2 (28th February 2020, 11:50 am)
GDC 2020 has to handle another massive blow. Microsoft, Fortnite creator Epic Games, and Unity are the latest who withdraw their name from the Game Developer Conference as of over Covid-19 coronavirus.
Microsoft said in an official blog post that by the guidance of global health authorities, they made a difficult decision that they will withdraw their name from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and their partners around the world is their top priority.
Epic announced its withdrawal from GDC 2020 on Twitter:
Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020. Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance.
Stay tuned for Epic news and more through other channels.
— Unreal Engine (@UnrealEngine) February 27, 2020
In an official blog post, Unity CEO John Riccitiello announced that the company is planning not to attend GDC. After thinking of so much and debate, they have made this difficult decision to not go in GDC 2020. They did this because of the current conditions with COVID-19 (also known as Novel Coronavirus).