The mighty COVID-19 disease has claimed another major conference, this time the Game Developers Conference 2020. The annual game industry event was set to take place from 16-20 March 2020 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
In a blog post, the organising team announced that they were postponing the conference but intends to host the event later in the summer. They said, “we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time.”
In recent days, the event has seen major sponsors and partners such as Microsoft, Amazon, Unity, Epic, Sony and Facebook pull out due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
In its FAQ, GDC said it will refund paid conference or export registrants in full. For those who have booked hotels via the GDC hotel website will not have to pay penalties or fees associated with their reservations.
The Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, as well as the set of GDC 2020 talks, will be streamed via Twitch during the week of the event (16-20 March).
More details will be revealed in the weeks to come.
The battle wages on
The global spread of COVID-19 has disrupted notable regional and global events with the latest being the cancellation of Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference. The trend looks to continue. The China leg of the Formula One GP was recently postponed, and multiple Serie A football games have been called off or played behind closed doors. Meanwhile, Japan’s J-League, South Korea’s K-League and China’s Super League have also been put on hold. The coronavirus is also threatening the Tokyo 2020 Olympics slated to run from 24 July until 25 August.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has increased the assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact to “very high” at the global level. As it stands (29 Feb), there are 85,403 confirmed cases of infection across 53 countries. In China, the source of the coronavirus, there are 79,394 cases resulting in 2,838 deaths so far. Outside of China, there are a total of 6,009 confirmed cases with 86 deaths to date.
On the positive side, as of 27 February, there are 36,117 cases who have recovered from COVID-19 in China.
In Malaysia, there are 25 confirmed cases with zero deaths.
Header image credit: GDC