Another two major publisher have announced it will not be partaking in GDC next month, and those publishers are Epic Games and Microsoft. Earlier on Twitter, the Epic confirmed that it would not be sending staff to the conference in San Francisco due to the current health concerns. Those health concerns would be the current spread of coronavirus across the world, with various countries and companies implementing procedures to limit that spread. Epic is putting its employees’ safety first over attending a conference that will feature thousands of people being at the GDC event.
Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020. Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance.
Stay tuned for Epic news and more through other channels.
— Unreal Engine (@UnrealEngine) February 27, 2020
Microsoft made its announcement on its Game Stack blog, instead confirming it would be moving to a digital showcase that would run from March 16th to March 18th.
After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Microsoft and Epic Games have followed the same approach as Sony which confirmed it would not be attending GDC due to the risks posed by coronavirus. Facebook also stated it would not be at the event. EA has also cancelled its presence at GDC citing similar health concerns. GDC is not the only conference that has been affected. PAX East has seen companies like Sony, Square Enix, CD Projekt RED and PUBG Corp cancelled their plans to attend the conference in Boston. It is likely that the impact of coronavirus will keep expanding for a while as infections get confirmed globally.
If you have concerns about coronavirus follow local advice, and if you suspect you may have it call the correct authorities, such as 111 in Britain, from home. Do not present yourself at a hospital, GP surgery, or health centre as that can risk further spreading.