GDC conference 2019
Copyright Official GDC

A variety of video game companies have recently pulled out of the annual Game Developers Conference. These companies include Sony, Kojima Productions, Facebook, and newly announced EA. The fear of being exposed to the coronavirus outbreak has plenty of people scared, and it’s hindering this year’s GDC attendance.

The GDC will take place from March 16 – 20 in San Francisco, California. They expect several companies to attend, share ideas and award video game developers over their achievements in the industry. Unfortunately, the fear of catching the coronavirus is preventing a few big-name companies from showing up.

Kojima’s concerns

One of the first announcements came from Japanese game development studio Kojima Productions. On February 24, they had informed their Twitter followers about the cancellation of their attendance. This included canceling much-anticipated panel events such as Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding Session and Eric Johnson’s session. Although disappointed, many fans are hoping to see them attend the conference next year.

EA’s decision to cancel

The most recent cancellation came from EA. Their Ad Product Development Specialist, Alex Sherer, shared the news via Linkedin. “Just received word from corporate, and EA will be limiting our presence at GDC… all EA employees have been advised to not travel to San Francisco for the conference.” He continues, “I’m terribly sorry, but this means I will be [canceling] any and all GDC related meetings, dinners, coffee meetups and mixers.” Furthermore, EA has yet to post an official message regarding the status of their attendance.

EA announcement

Facebook not joining in

Additionally, Facebook has also pulled out of the event. In an official Facebook blog post, they informed their followers over their difficult decision to not attend the conference this year. Secondly, they are still planning to make announcements regarding the future of AR/VR gaming. “We’re removing our booth footprint and advising all employees to refrain from traveling to the show. We plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks.” Furthermore, they continue to reveal they have a backup plan. “We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show, but in a digital format with videos, online Q&As, and more.” Facebook usually attends the annual conference to share their gaming endeavors with the community. Fortunately, they have found ways to continue their plans.

A word from the conference

Although these recent events have concerned many future attendees, the GDC had posted an official statement on their website. “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.”

Finally, In the coming weeks, we are monitoring how the coronavirus outbreak is developing. Many gaming companies are greatly being affected as the months go by. Officials have confirmed over 79,000 global cases as Italy has struggled with a sudden outbreak this weekend. The United States has 53 confirmed cases. Moreover, as companies are starting to re-think their next moves, we will keep readers updated about related news.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba

    Diamond Scrubs: Podcast Episode 2

    Previous article

    Apex Legends data-miner finds evidence of the Smart Pistol in the files

    Next article

    You may also like