As health concerns over the spreading coronavirus outbreak continue, even more companies are joining the list of GDC cancellations. Activision, Blizzard, and Gearbox have all recently announced that they will not be attending GDC 2020, as well as Amazon and Iron Galaxy’s cancellations earlier today.
They all join Microsoft, Unity, Epic Games, EA, Sony, Facebook/Oculus, Kojima Productions, and a number of other exhibitors that will not be attending. The companies are all also putting moratoriums on their employees and encouraging them not to travel to the event. It’s unknown if Gearbox’s decision to not attend will impact Counterplay Games’ tease for more Godfall PS5 info “really, really soon.”
Gearbox today notified GDC organizers that our team will not attend GDC or be able to give their scheduled presentations. Our employees’ health and wellness is our primary concern. (1/2)
— Gearbox Official (@GearboxOfficial) February 28, 2020
The health and well-being of our teams is our highest priority, and due to growing concerns related to COVID-19, Activision is asking employees not to attend this year’s Game Developers Conference as we continue to monitor the situation. 1/2
— Activision (@Activision) February 28, 2020
Blizzard will no longer attend this year’s @Official_GDC due to growing concerns related to COVID-19. The health and well-being of our teams is our highest priority.
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) February 28, 2020
Sony was the first to begin the string of cancellations, first withdrawing from PAX East shortly before announcing that it would not attend GDC. Facebook/Oculus followed quickly, and the cascade of cancellations has continued as the coronavirus outbreak situation develops. GDC organizers still haven’t outright canceled the event or made any comments regarding refunds for those choosing not to attend.
Questions have begun to arise about how coronavirus will impact the remainder of the year, particularly the planned marketing rollouts and releases of next-gen consoles. Many expected this GDC to focus on next-gen technologies in some aspect, being the last Game Developers Conference before the holiday 2020 release windows of PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, even the release of next-gen consoles could potentially be delayed or at least supply-limited as coronavirus has impacted the manufacturing areas of mainland China the worst.
GDC is set to take place from March 16-20, 2020 in San Francisco, though at this point it’s a fraction of the show it was planned to be.