Microsoft Latest Company To Pull Out Of GDC 2020 Due To Coronavirus
Microsoft will not be attending the Game Developers Conference 2020 for on-site events because of concerns regarding the Coronavirus, the company announced on Thursday. Like others who were also planning on attending GDC and other major gaming events happening soon, Microsoft said it won’t have an on-site presence at the event that’s geared towards those who work on games. Instead, Microsoft has elected to hold a digital-only event from March 16th to March 18th where it’ll hold most of the game developer sessions which were originally planned. Microsoft’s withdrawal from the event puts them alongside other major companies who have also pulled out due to health concerns.
The company made the announcement on its Game Stack blog:
After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
The post continues to say that a lot of its “planned game developer sessions and experiences” will be available to watch online in a digital event to take place March 16-18. That’ll take place on Microsoft’s website. It also confirmed that Gaming for Everyone, the company’s diversity initiative, won’t be taking place online.
Microsoft joins other companies like Sony, Facebook, Kojima Productions, and Unity, which all pulled out of the conference for health reasons. Sony, Microsoft’s largest rival when it comes to games and consoles, also will not be attending GDC 2020, the company announced last week. Electronic Arts among others who you’d typically expect to see at the event will also not attend it for the same reason as Microsoft.
The world has been feeling the impacts of the coronavirus. According to the Washington Post, markets are down, schools are closing, and the number of those infected continues to rise. On Wednesday, the first reported case of coronavirus with “unknown origin” (the patient didn’t travel to regions hit by the outbreak or come into contact with anybody known to have it) was confirmed in Northern California.
Currently, GDC 2020 is set to go on as planned from March 16-20.