Sony and Facbebook cancel GDC 2020 plans in fear of coronavirus

GDC 2020 Sony Facebook

In the past two months coronavirus cancelled Taipei Game Show 2020 and  MWC 2020, the world’s largest phone show. It also caused a shortage in video games hardware stocks and apparently, it’s not stopping there. Sony and Facebook Gaming announced that they are cancelling their plans for Game Developers Conference 2020 (GDC 2020) next month. Both of the big companies said that this decision was made due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook will do things digitally but Sony is skipping

Facebook said they would still be doing things via digital formats with videos and online Q&As for GDC 2020, though it’s not clear what that will entail. A spokesman from Facebook said the following statement to Games Industry:

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.

Sony Facebook GDC

On the other hand, Sony has said nothing about alternative ways to communicate with GDC 2020 attendees. A statement from Sony Interactive Entertainment read:

Sony have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in GDC due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19. 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.

GDC 2020 already shared its plans for a “successful and safe event”

Game Developers Conference itself has allayed concerns in its own statement: “We believe that, based on the strict US 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.” The event is going to start on March 16 and end on March 20 if nothing goes sideways.


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