The Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March has been postponed due concerns of the coronavirus and will now likely take place later in the summer.
Over the past few days, numerous companies had been pulling out of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), citing concern over the coronavirus. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe and pose a threat to the United States, game companies like PlayStation, Microsoft and many others opted to withdraw from the event rather than risk the health and safety of their employees and general community.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that 33 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and that the state is monitoring at least 8,400 others. With GDC being hosted in San Francisco, California, these companies’ decisions were essentially made as a safety precaution to avoid any possible exposure to the virus in leiu of the growing outbreak.
With everyone on high alert and so many companies having already pulled out, the show’s organizers have finally done what many expected them to do, postpone the event. An official announcement from the organizers regarding GDC 2020 reads:
"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.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."
According to the announcement, the plan is now to host a GDC event “later in the summer,” although no details were provided. Plans for another show will be ironed out and announced in the next few weeks.
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COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has been compared to the flu in the way it acts. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu viruses are most common during the fall and winner in the United States, with flu activity peaking between December and February.
I’m not a doctor so I don’t want to spread any misinformation, but I believe one of the theories is that warmer weather could help stop the spread of the coronavirus. No one knows for certain what will happen when it warms up, but it sounds like GDC organizers are hoping for this to be the case. That said, flu activity can last as late as May, according to the CDC, so I’m sure everyone will be keeping a close eye on the coronavirus over the next few weeks and months.
Here is the list of game companies that had already pulled out of GDC before it being postponed: Kojima Productions, EA, Facebook/Oculus, Sony, Unity, Epic Games, Microsoft, Amazon, Gearbox Software and Blizzard. Hopefully if all of this settles down and goes away, they’ll be able to attend the event later in the summer.