Health concerns due to the international epidemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been affecting the upcoming Game Developers Conference quite significantly in recent days. The likes of Kojima Productions, EA, Sony, and Oculus have already cancelled their plans for the event- now, two more major companies have done the same.
Microsoft announced in an update that due to concerns about the coronavirus, they will be exercising “an abundance of caution” and will no longer be participating in the event next month. “The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority,” they wrote. “Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus.”
That said, Microsoft plans on moving its events to a digital presence. They will be hosting the “majority” of their planned GDC sessions, panels, and experiences online and will be livestreaming these.
Meanwhile, Epic Games have also cancelled their GDC 2020 plans, citing “uncertainty around health concerns” as the reason for their cancellation. You can see their announcement via the official Unreal Engine Twitter handle below.
The Game Developers Conference 2020 takes place in San Francisco from March 16th to March 20th.
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