Game Developers Conference postponed due to Coronavirus concerns

This year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) is officially postponed. The news comes after several high-profile game studios dropped out of the event over Coronavirus concerns.

Throughout February, more and more game companies began backing out of the conference including Sony, Microsoft, and EA. A few hours prior to the postponement announcement, Activision and Amazon confirmed that they would not be attending either.

GDC, which was set to begin on March 16, announced its plans to postpone the conference on Friday night, February 28.

“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,” says a post on GDC’s website.

While the event won’t be happening in March as intended, GDC’s website claims that the event is still on for later in the year.

“We fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.”

All conference and expo attendees will receive a full refund according to GDC’s FAQ page. Those who booked hotels within GDC’s room block will not incur penalties. Details on both will be sent out to all registered attendees by early next week.

GDC plans to upload any talks that were planned for the event to YouTube if speakers send in a recording, and it still plans to stream the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards on Twitch during the week the convention was scheduled to take place.

The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has had an unexpected impact on the video game industry over the past month. The disease cause delays for Outer Worlds’ Switch port, production issues for Nintendo’s Animal Crossing edition Switch in Japan, and forced the Oculus Quest on backorder indefinitely. Earlier on Friday, EVE Online Fanfest was canceled due to concerns over the spread of the virus.

If GDC reschedules as planned, summer will be an extremely busy season for game developers as this year’s E3 is scheduled for late spring beginning on June 9. The ongoing health crisis could have a similar effect on that convention as well if it’s not under control in the next few months.

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