With GDC 2020 set to take place in less than a month in San Francisco, the major indie and game developer summit is set to be losing some major players this year due to growing concerns over the coronavirus. Over the past week we've gotten word that Sony, Facebook, EA, and Kojims Productions will be skipping the event.
The most recent cancellation being EA with a statement made by the publisher noting, "Having closely followed the global situation with Coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel." The publishers official presence at the Game Developer Conference has now been cancelled, alongside Sony who told GamesIndustry.biz
, "We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern."
Hideo Kojima, who was set to deliver a talk, has also pulled out alongside Kojima Productions. In response GDC has addressed concerns by stepping up its on-site measures to combat the potential threat, "We believe that, based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community. Locally, the Department of Health for both the State of California and the City of San Francisco support the convening of public events. We are also continuing to follow the latest CDC and WHO guidance, following in the footsteps of other large international events that are taking place successfully at the Moscone Center."
Fears over coronavirus have spilled over to other events with Sony also pulling out of PAX East and Blizzard recently cancelling Overwatch League games in South Korea.