Game Developers Conference 2020 Becomes Latest Tech Victim Of Coronavirus Fears
Major companies decided to drop out this week due to an overabundance of caution in keeping their employees safe amid the coronavirus outbreak. Microsoft, Facebook, Epic Games, Unity, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Electronic Arts were among the high-profile exhibitors that bailed on this year’s show. Without these big names to anchor GDC 2020, organizers had no choice but to call it off.
"After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March," wrote the GDC Event Team. "Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we're genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time."
All is not lost, however; registrants that have already paid will be receiving a full refund within the next 4 to 6 weeks according to the organizers. In a separate email to registrants, it was confirmed that anyone that booked a hotel through the GDC room block will not be hit with any penalties or fees for cancelling their reservation. Hotels that were booked outside of the confines of the GDC and any airline flight cancellation fees will be on the onus of the attendee.
In addition, conference speakers that were originally lined up to speak at GDC 2020 will have their presentations posted online for anyone to view for free. These will then be made available to the public via the GDC YouTube channel or the GDC Vault for existing registrants.
The plan for the event organizers is to still hold GDC 2020; just at a later date. "We fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks."
Earlier this week, it was announced that Facebook would be cancelling its F8 developer conference over coronavirus fears. And earlier this month, the highly influential Mobile World Congress, which is held in Barcelona, was cancelled for the same reason. Not even the automotive industry could escape the long tentacles of the coronavirus, as the Geneva Auto Show was also cancelled this week.
As of this morning, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people globally.