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GDC Shrinks As Fear Of Coronavirus Grows


The Game Developers Conference 2020 is set to  open from the 16th of March to the 20th of March 2020 but it seems many of its constituents will be pulling out amidst the growing fear of Coronavirus concerns surrounding “COVID-19”. As a result several big names have pulled out such as Sony and Facebook. Facebook wrote in a statement provided to Polygon last week.

“Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year’s Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19,”

Sony’s statement to said: “We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.”

EA (Electronic Arts) will be limiting their attendance too writing in a statement on LinkedIn. “Just received word from corporate, and EA will be limiting our presence at GDC, cancelling our participation in official GDC events, and all EA employees have been advised to not travel to San Francisco for the conference,”

Kojima productions’ Hideo Kojima has had to cancel his scheduled talk on Death stranding amongst all the other Kojima productions commitments to GDC.

GDC doesn’t seem to be worried though in a statement on 20 February they said

“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.”

There have been fifteen confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California among the total of 53 cases in the US so far.

It seems PAX East has suffered too as Sony has cancelled its appearance and Square Enix has scaled down a lot.

So, it seems that as the fear of Coronavirus grows, this epidemic has many gamers in a panic but the show must go on and let’s hope they can get a great turnout for these shows.