Both PlayStation and Facebook Gaming have announced that they will no longer be attending GDC 2020 over concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
Sony announced just the other day that PlayStation would be pulling out of PAX East due to worries regarding COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.
In a statement issued to various media outlets, including GamesIndustry.biz, Sony expressed its disappointment over having to pull out of GDC 2020 but stressed that the “health and safety of [its] global workforce is [its] highest concern.”
You can read the full statement below:
“We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.”
Facebook has said that instead of a physical appearance at GDC 2020, the company will be making a series of announcements about both Facebook Gaming and Oculus over the web using “videos, online Q&As, and more.”
A Facebook company spokesperson said the following:
“Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year’s Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19.”
“We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks.
“We continue to collaborate with UBM, GDC’s parent company, and our partners, and thank them for their efforts.”
A post on the official Oculus blog also echoed similar sentiments over being unable to attend, calling it a “difficult decision, but […] the right call to make at this time.”
Facebook has also previously stated that it expects delays in Oculus Quest production due to the coronavirus outbreak.
GDC 2020 will take place between March 16th and 20th, 2020, in San Francisco, California.
If you have concerns regarding COVID-19, you can visit the World Health Organisation website to find answers and tips on how to keep yourself safe from the virus. Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, can help to prevent the spread of most viruses.
At the time of publishing, there have been 75,748 cases of COVID-19 confirmed globally, with 2,121 deaths confirmed in China and 8 deaths outside of China.