Sony and Facebook Pull Out of GDC 2020 Over Coronavirus Concerns

Facebook will share their announcements via online videos instead.

Just one day after announcing it wouldn’t be attending PAX East, Sony confirmed that they also would not be attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year also due to coronavirus concerns.

In a statement sent to the press, including, Sony reiterated that “concerns related to COVID-19” led to this decision:

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 also just announced that it will withdraw its presence from the annual Game Developer’s Conference this year. It will pull both Facebook Gaming and Oculus booths and have advised all employees to not attend.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement:

“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.”

Other industry conferences have been jugely affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Mobile World Congress (MWC) was canceled earlier this month.
Informa, the organization behind GDC, said on its website:

“All of our China-based exhibitors… have had to push their participation to 2021 or are sending North American personnel to staff their booth.” It also noted that the situation affected “around 2% of the total GDC attendance” and around “10 out of 550 comapnies hosted at GDC this year.”

Sources – cnet engadget